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Making Reading 'A Habit'

Dranesville Elementary School children received a treat during an assembly last week encouraging them to read.

Former financial consultant, turned children's author, Sam X. Renick of Los Angeles read to selected first, second and third graders at the school not only to encourage them to increase their reading, but also about the importance of saving money as they get older.

The event was the kick-off to a five-week "PennyPower" reading program designed to teach second-graders the importance of savings and earnings. The program is being offered through a business partnership with local Northwest Federal Credit Union.

Reading from his book "It's a Habit, Sammy Rabbit," Renick kept the students' attention by running back and forth in front of the small crowd. He also constantly asked the students questions and had them repeat what he dictated. Most of his message called for children to save important things, like money, and to be prepared for anything.

At the end of the assembly the children sang along to a song, written by Renick. While the children were facing forward singing, Sammy Rabbit hopped out of a closet in the back of the gym and up to the front, causing the children to scream and giggle at the oversized rabbit.

The assembly marked the second year of the Northwest Federal Credit Union's partnership with the elementary school. Through the partnership, credit union employees come to Dranesville to read to children in the second grade. This year the program has expanded to reach first graders as well.

Before coming to Dranesville, Renick and Sammy Rabbit visited Clearview Elementary and Hutchison Elementary schools to showcase the same entertainment. As a part of the business partnership, the credit union purchased enough books for all students at the Dranesville assembly to each receive a copy and a CD by Renick.