DANVILLE — Danville Primary School students knew they were going to watch the premiere of a new music video, but were surprised by dancers.
Principal John Bickhart and Jesse Reibson, interventional specialist, danced to show kindergarten through second-graders they love reading. Resurrection Movement Studio taught them their moves, said art teacher Jes Noel.
Studio owner Hidi Horikoshi later joined Bickhart and Reibson, who wore "reading is our favorite sport" shirts, on stage.
"The video wouldn't have happened without Jes, Jen Nardi and Paul Breon," Bickhart said of Nardi, a teacher, and Breon, internet specialist.
The schoolwide 10-minute video resulted from Bickhart challenging students to read 500,000 minutes at home during the school year. As of last week, students had read 485,000 minutes. Bickhart asked them to read 15 minutes each Thursday and Friday to surpass the goal.
Noel said music teacher Jordan Hirabi and teacher Laura Potter assisted with the video with an "Under the Sea" theme. The songs included "Surfing USA" and the popular "Baby Shark" song. The entire school danced on the playground.
"We wanted to do something to let every kid possible get involved" in something that will last forever Bickhart said.
The video was available for the public to see on the school's Facebook page.
Before the premiere, Janice Osborne of PPL presented free books to each classroom through the "Cover to Cover" literacy program. Each student got to choose four books to take home and read during the summer. "Students are thrilled to take them home for the summer. It's so wonderful to see their excitement and enthusiasm and they are very appreciative," she said.
More than 8,300 students at 25 schools in PPL's service area will receive books. The lack of summer learning opportunities causes some students to fall two to three grade levels behind their peers by the end of fifth grade, according to Osborne. PPL employees and the PPL Foundation provide the books.