Pacelli Readathon Week includes Brandon Vreeman author visit

Published 7:01 am Saturday, March 7, 2020

Pacelli preschool and elementary students are going for the gold as they compile reading minutes in pursuit of winning their own bronze, silver, or gold medal. This week concluded Readathon activities for students at Pacelli Catholic School. The Pacelli PTCA organized a week full of activities including a family night of book bingo, collecting reading minutes during and outside the school day, the third annual Poetry Slam, reading  with high school buddies, and an author residency. The activities allowed students to focus on the importance of reading in our daily lives.

Author Brandon Vreeman presents to preschool students about the making of his book “The Ball That Did Not Like to Bounce.” Kelsey Hilgers, the Southern North Photography

Author Brandon Vreeman presented grade-centered programs for students in preschool, grades K-1, grades 2-3, and grades 4-6. Twelve intermediate level students also shared lunch with the author and were able to personally learn more about the author and his work. Vreeman has been doing author visits around the Midwest area since 2017. Originally from Leroy, Minnesota, Vreeman shared a positive message designed to help kids to be a better version of themselves. He speaks on Diversity and Inclusion, Bullying, Being Accepting of Others, Understanding Differences, and more. He also talked about the process in which he published his book, “The Ball That Did Not Like to Bounce.”

Vreeman opened his program reading his book to the students. George is a rubber ball, but he’s different than all the other balls that he knows. He doesn’t like to bounce! Everyone tells George that he should bounce because that’s what he’s supposed to do. George decides to go out on a journey to discover if it’s okay not to bounce. Is he the only ball that doesn’t like it? Is he really that different? Should he start bouncing like everyone says? (information from

Email newsletter signup

The theme of Vreeman’s residency was carried on through the Third Annual Poetry Slam. Each elementary classroom selected a poem that highlighted the theme of Vreeman’s book. Poems were memorized, choreographed and rehearsed prior to a school-wide presentation by each class. Lessons learned from George the rubber ball were articulately and passionately performed, including selections like the Kindergarten “I Look into the Mirror” and the Sixth Grade bilingual English/Spanish interpretation of the poem “Diversity.”

If you are interested in learning more about Pacelli Catholic Schools, visit our website at, email or call 507-437-3278. Preschool-Grade 12 registration for the 2020-2021 school year has begun. Several classes are already close to capacity. Waiting lists will be started as classes become full in anticipation of adding additional classes.