It would be hard heart indeed which did not love the Iditaread. The time honored reading challenge takes place during the Iditarod each year at the W.G. Mallet and Cape Cod Hill schools with each classroom becoming a sled dog team that races to see which team can read the most books. Each team has one Lead Dog and one Spirit Dog selected by their teacher. Here is the definition for selection provided by Mallett School librarian Arika Galkowski.
Lead dog – A dog at the front of the team. This dog sets the pace for the team to follow. This dog guides, directs and perseveres especially in the face of difficulties or obstacles.
Spirit dog – A dog who has a willingness to cooperate, never giving up. This dog motivates others and takes reading risks. The spirit dog does a great job supporting their team by being kind and encouraging!
Every Lead Dog and Spirit Dog is awarded a little plush husky which we provide to the schools.
Behind the scenes a dramatic race unfolded involving these plush huskies which mirrored the challenges faced by their flesh and blood counterparts. I was worried this year as plush animals have been particularly hard hit by supply chain issues. Before the holidays I had a plush order with 27 types of animals ordered off an in stock spreadsheet. It turned out that only 3 were really in stock to ship. My heart ran chill with dread. What a ghastly failure it would have been to be late to the finish line with the the Iditaread prizes. As you can see above however all is well.
Congratulations to the wonderful young readers they are destined for.