Reading with Mr. Rhino: Nearly Five Years of Weekly Storytelling

Jeff Reinemann, AKA, Mr. Rhino, Reports to Read with Students at Lakewood Elementary Tuesdays & Thursdays

DULUTH, Minn. – We’re just days away from the official kick-off of “I Love to Read Month,” but that’s not stopping elementary students at Duluth’s Lakewood School from getting a jump start on their lessons.

A frequent special guest is keeping the love of learning going all year long.

“Setting that foundation and skills for reading early on is a building block to where they need to be when they’re older,” said Mrs. Bergman, kindergarten teacher at Lakewood Elementary.

Inside the walls of Lakewood Elementary, reading is fundamental to a future full of success.

“Every time they see him in the hallway they’re like, ‘Mr. Rhino, Mr. Rhino, it’s so good to see you,’” said Mrs. Bergman.

Jeff Reinemann, AKA, Mr. Rhino, is a legendary member of the Lynx family.

“He reads to us in happiness,” said Isabel, a student a Lakewood Elementary. “He’s really funny.”

“When Mr. Rhino reads he reads with enthusiasm, expression, and he brings the story to life,” said Mrs. Bergman.

Mr. Rhino helps turn everyday lessons into lifelong memories.

“My kids loved when I would read to them. I have a mountain of books at home that I would read to them all the time,” said Mr. Rhino.

You could say retirement helped Mr. Rhino kick-start his guest reading career.

“I try to always instill in them that reading is so important,” said Mr. Rhino.

Nearly five years ago, visits to the school on Tuesday and Thursday mornings became the new routine.

“I get a kick out of seeing the little kids,” said Mr. Rhino. “They’re always happy, and they’re always in a good mood, always want to tell me stories.”

While it may seem like all fun and games for Mr. Rhino, there’s a reason behind his repeated visits.

“These are kindergarteners, so you don’t have to expect a lot out of them, but if they can at least be interested in a book, maybe that means they’ll open it, and if they’ll open it, maybe they’ll try to figure out some words,” said Mr. Rhino.

With inspiration at the forefront, the teachers, students, and staff at Lakewood are thankful for Mr. Rhino’s time and energetic talents.

“He likes to smile in a silly way,” said Isabel.

“I hope they keep me coming because I really do enjoy it,” said Mr. Rhino.

Mr. Rhino brings his own collection of books weekly. Many of them are from when his children were little, and some are new books that his wife has picked up over the years.

Categories: Community, Education