Hillman students kick off literacy challenge

News Photo by Julie Goldberg Magician Jon Oliver, left, performs a balloon magic trick with Hillman Elementary third-grader Brandon Steinke on Thursday to kickoff the school’s book fair that starts next week.

HILLMAN — Hillman Elementary School students got the opportunity to see magician Jon Oliver to kick off the book fair that is going on next week.

“This was a kickoff for the book fair,” Principal Pamela Rader said. “We do different assemblies every year but this was the first time that we have done this particular assembly.”

Third-grader Brandon Steinke was able to perform a magic trick with Oliver in front of his classmates. Steinke was able to turn two birds into a rabbit and was surprised when the magic trick happened.

“I really liked it,” Steinke said. “I really liked when he put the pin through the balloon and the balloon didn’t pop.”

Oliver performed different magic tricks and students got the opportunity to participate.

“I love doing this for the entertainment and the excitement that the kids get,” Oliver said. “My favorite magic trick is when the bird vanishes at the end because everyone is always wondering what happened to the bird.”

Parent Teacher Support Group supports the school and provides funding for the school to do assemblies. Secretary Nicole Bartlett sees what the calendar looks like and figures out what event is a good fit for the school.

“Since we are kicking off parent-teacher conferences and the book fair next week, it’s a good time for the kids to see the connection between the outside world and magic and make the connection back to reading,” Rader said.

The students enjoyed watching Oliver perform different tricks.

“I think anytime they are able to be actively engaged, they learn more,” Rader said. “We are looking for different ways to engage them with literacy or math.”

Steinke said he hopes Oliver comes back and performs more magic tricks for the students.

Julie Goldberg can be reached via email at jgoldberg@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5688.