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Walnut valley Unified School District

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Our motto is KIDS FIRST... Every Student, Every Day!   Walnut Valley USD is proud to be a National Schools to Watch District with numerous National Blue Ribbon, California Gold Ribbon, and California Distinguished School awards. 

Warm up with a good book!

December 5, 2022

By Kelli Gile, WVUSD Office of Community Resources


WALNUT, CA—Cyrus J. Morris Elementary Principal Kelly Morris and staff members brought the adorable “Gingerbread Girl” book to life as Family Literacy Night kicked off on December 1.

Morris shined as the perky pastry who bolts from the oven during the reader’s theater performance.

“You can’t catch me, I’m the cutest Gingerbread Girl” Morris animatedly lip-synced dashing off stage while being chased by the farm family.

The children, many wearing pajamas, squealed in delight at the site of their sweet school leader and storied characters racing through the audience.

Then the clever cookie met her match after jumping on the Fox’s back (portrayed by teacher Laurie Eyestone) while trying to cross a river.

“Climb on my head and you won’t get wet,” the sly Fox mouthed rubbing his tummy and licking his lips.

And with a quick flick, the Fox threw the Gingerbread Girl into the air and “snick snack” gobbled her up.

After the opening performance, families joined classroom activities hosted by teachers spreading a love of literacy.

For the next hour, students rotated through 15-minute sessions including Make and Take Sight Word Practice where primary grade families learned how to make a fun memory game with note cards or any paper at home.

Children and parents cut out cards, flipped them upside down, and quickly began playing.

They even recorded their matches to get in a little extra writing practice.

In the “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” class, families learned the importance of sequencing (beginning, middle, and end) in books.

After listening to teacher Lesley Chon read the popular book, students put their new skills to use crafting items the mouse requested.

In the Padlet book club session, teacher Megan Wammack taught older students how to make community digital bulletin boards so they could share ideas about books.

A total of 14 classes were offered during the event aimed to inspire cozying up with a good book.

“Literacy Night was a great success with over 500 in attendance,” shared Title I Coordinator Lisa Esse.

“Tonight, our school was filled with excitement and joy for reading and learning!”


Gingerbread Girl! C.J. Morris Elementary Principal Kelly Morris and staff members present a hilarious reader’s theater during Family Literacy Night on December 1.

Warm Up with a Good Book! C.J. Morris Elementary families join literacy-themed activities.