Bells Elementary School celebrated the importance of reading community service in April and May through a special presentation by Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett, a procession of motorcycles, a student parade and a host of other activities.

The events were part of the Texas Reads One Book 2018 program, which promotes family literacy, by encouraging family members to read together. The Cowboys coach visited the campus on April 16 and held a special reading of “The Mouse and the Motorcycle,” the program’s book of choice this year. Garrett read the first chapter of the book before an area Harley Davidson dealership rolled out numerous motorcycles for the children to see. The school celebrated again last week with a reading of the book’s final chapter, delivered by author Rob Novak, and a student-led bicycle parade. The campus is scheduled to hear from other authors around the United States and the world in the coming weeks through video chats and in-person readings.

“We’re trying to get these kids engaged through different experiences,” Bells Independent School District Superintendent Joe Moore said. “We’re going to do anything we can to promote reading.”

In addition to the reading activities, Bells Elementary students also participated in the Scurry and Scrounge Challenge. The competitive campaign encouraged students of each grade to band together and collect travel-sized hygiene products, paper goods, cleaning supplies and diapers to be donated to the Grayson County Shelter. Each item donated was tallied on a point system, under which students sought to amass the most points and win the competition. The school’s third grade students came out on top and claimed their prize, which was the chance to cover Bells Elementary Principal Yalonda Ivers in nacho cheese and chips.

“We always try to tie some community service in for the little guys and gals at our elementary campus,” Moore said. “We want them to understand the value of giving your time and helping others and we want to start at young age so it becomes a part of their life on down the road.

Moore said he was pleased to see both the students and staff have fun through the activities.

“Our community is fortunate to have that group of teachers and administrators over there at the elementary school,” Moore said. “They really got creative with it this year and they’re continuing to do great things for our kids.”