A big blue fuzzy character named YoJo stopped by Plymouth Elementary School (PE) to help the third graders prepare for the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) test and, in a separate assembly, encourage the rest of the school to get excited about reading.
Preparing for the PSSA
"The cool thing about the assembly is that it told some true facts about what to do on a test," said Livia Frustillo, who's in third grade at PE. "Like how if you guess things, it might be correct, and how you have to take your time — and how you need to do all those thing before school like be on time and eat a healthy breakfast."
For the third grade assembly, the children help YoJo figure out how the test questions work and help calm his nerves about taking the test.
"Getting them to laugh about a subject helps the kids realize that they know what they're doing and very capable," said Philip Doccolo, who starred in the stage show with YoJo. "Once the kids can help YoJo through everything, it gives them more confidence."
Confidence is something that the PE students have for the PSSA, which begins for the students after spring break.
"It's just all about what you learned in the school year, so there's nothing really new except for a couple little things to trick you a little," said PE third grader Brian Flanagan, who's looking forward to doing well on the test.
Getting motivated to read
After the third grade students went back to their classrooms, the rest of the school joined YoJo to reinforce that idea that "the more you read, the smarter you get."
"You learned a lesson that reading is better than anything else in the world," said PE second grader Ella Gidaro. "Well, besides family and other stuff."
YoJo went through several funny mishaps to grow from not being very interested in reading to enjoying reading and finding new books. YoJo then played the prince to PE first grader Lana Korkus's princess in a short story read by Mr. Doccolo.
"You should read, because it might take you on a cool adventure," said PE second grader Shane Turzi.
At the end of the show, YoJo and Mr. Doccolo donated a book that features YoJo called Choose to Read to the PE library.