School Beat — April 1, 2010

April 1, 2010 // 0 Comments

Ignite the reading spark by SHARON WELLS, Principal Parkside Elementary School Do you have kids who compare having to read to getting shots at the doctor’s office? Sometimes we have to “band aid” this attitude with some creativity, providing motivation for our kids to read. As parents we are responsible for assisting our kids with tasks they don’t necessarily find desirable, such as regularly brushing their teeth, dressing properly for the weather, healthy eating, and many other things they may not always choose to do without our guidance. Motivating kids to read should be right at the top of that list. Research shouts from the rooftops that early literacy is critical to developing lifelong readers. There are a variety of ways to bring reading to life for your children on a daily basis and especially when you see a lack of interest from them when it comes to reading. Consider trying some of these opportunities: •            Remember that reading doesn’t have to be a chapter book! It can be anything you have available in your house—newspapers, magazines, journals, joke books, cook books, coffee table books, etc. •            Model, model, model! If your kids see you reading, they are being influenced to read. •            Focus book choices around the interests of your children. If they love riding dirt bikes, find a dirt bike magazine or visit the outdoor sports section of your library. Your kids love animals? Find interesting animal tales or encourage them to read articles online about their favorite pets. •            Make finding the reading material half the fun! Take a family field trip to your public library. Buy a book to put under the Christmas tree. Have them earn books to buy from our local bookstores. Buy a magazine subscription for a birthday gift. •            Read aloud to your child. Find a regular time each day to read an adventurous story to your child that will hold their interest. They will soon be begging you for “just a little more!” •            Tie reading to technology. Discover literacy rich websites. Read up on your favorite authors online. Encourage your children to participate in literacy blogs with other kids their age on trusted sites. •            Let reading serve a purpose. Look up recipes that you […]

Let the reading adventures begin

March 12, 2009 // 0 Comments

by CINDY KITZROW Director, Library and Media Services March is designated as National Reading Month. The libraries of Rockford Public Schools are pleased to announce the theme for our 11th annual read-a-thon: “Let the Reading Adventures Begin.” We will be investigating mysteries throughout the month. We are excited to have our very own Rockford author, Kenn Vidro, share his newest book Hey Diddle Riddles. Vidro is the art teacher for Lakes and Belmont elementary schools. He is scheduled to visit each elementary library and will take the students on a mysterious adventure. He will also be sharing his love of reading, writing and illustrating. Each library has a month-long calendar of special activities. Some of the events are as follows: Mystery D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read) Time – During D.E.A.R. time, everyone in the building stops what they are doing and reads for 10-15 minutes. No one knows when the principal will announce D.E.A.R., so the mystery time will just add to the adventure of reading. Family Mystery Night – at Roguewood. Each family will be given clues to solve a mystery. The library staff is working with the PTA on some exciting events for all ages. Mystery Time Machine – Valley View will have a time machine the students pass through as they enter the library. Each week the students will have a “Time-Traveling, Code-Cracking Adventure.” Mystery Minutes – Trivia mystery clues will be announced daily during the school announcements. The students will receive prizes as they solve these mysteries. Mystery Readers – Special guest readers will be visiting each library to read their favorite books. We will continue to promote reading as the foundational skill of learning. Each March, as one of our goals, we want our students and parents reading together. Each student is given a reading log. They are asked to keep track of the time they read (or parents read to them) during the month on a form they can pick up in the library. Upon completion, the students receive a mystery decal to put in their window at home. The students from Pre-K through senior high are encouraged to read their favorite mystery books and authors. Each elementary principal challenges their students to read thousands of hours. In the […]