Students filled the CMS library to get books and meet military canine handlers. Photos by Freda Miklin
BY FREDA MIKLIN
For the past six years, Cherry Creek Schools’ Campus Middle School (CMS) at 4785 S. Dayton Street in Greenwood Village has been holding a schoolwide community-building fun reading activity. The kickoff event for this year’s “One Book One Campus” was held Feb. 22 in the CMS library.
Librarian Derek Phelan and Patty Jaacks, library assistant, along with their committee, chose, “Max. Best Friend. Hero. Marine,” by Jennifer Shotz as 2019’s “one book.” It tells the story of how military canine Max is adopted by the younger brother of a fallen Marine killed in Afghanistan, who had been Max’s handler. The paperback was offered at no cost to all CMS students, as is done each year with this program.
The school was decorated in the theme of the book and connected strictly fun activities were held, including an online “test” called, “What is your dog personality?” in which students answered questions to determine which breed of dog they are most like as a person. There was also a “dog food” eating contest featuring Cocoa Puffs cereal and a “kid agility course” that incorporated tricks that dogs are trained to do.
Seventh-graders Abby Richards, Abby Schwartz and Becca Dwyer are excited to read about Max.
Phelan said that CMS has given out 5,000 books over the six years of this very popular program. In past years, prizes have been donated by area businesses related to the subject of the chosen book. This year, a mom of two CMS students asked her neighbor, Master Sgt. Corinne Zimmer, a member of the commander support staff at Buckley Air Force Base, to help recruit active duty soldiers who handle military canines to participate in the program and talk with CMS students about what they do.
Students lined up around the library and down the hall to get their books and meet the soldiers.
Staff Sgt. Bryan Gutierrez and Tech. Sgt. Adam Robinson, canine trainer, were also on hand to talk to students about canines in the military.
A doorway into CMS fashioned after a doghouse with the name MAX was set up to start off the One Book One Campus program.
Trained handlers of military canines came from Buckley Air Force Base to talk with CMS students. From left to right, Tech. Sgt. Craig Ritter, kennel master, Staff Sgt. Phillip Rottman and Senior Airman Christopher Nelson.
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