Principal’s Message February 2013

Dear Parents,

Importance of Reading

As with most schools, we are always focused on developing the literacy skills and levels of our students. In other words, we are striving to help our students become more proficient readers and writers. Being able to read is important, but if students don’t understand what they are reading, the reading process may become frustrating for them. Teachers are constantly utilizing best practices to enhance the ability of our students to understand what they are reading.

We invite you as parents to be part of this process by showing that you value reading as well. I once read a quote that said, "Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." (1994) ~ Emilie Buchwald This quote speaks to the importance of a parent role model in the area of reading.

The following is a list of ideas that parents may use to encourage and promote reading. The list is an excerpt from "Tips for Parents About Reading" and it is published by the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory’s Comprehensive Center, Region X and Curriculum and Instruction Services. It is used with permission.
Things to do:

  1. Look closely at how time is being used in your home if your child is not reading regularly or enough. Being a good reader at this age means doing lots of reading outside of school.
  2. Be clever about creating time for reading—allow a later bedtime or excuse children from a chore like washing dishes if they are reading.
  3. Discuss bits and pieces of books that you read with your child. Find out about what she is reading by asking nonthreatening questions like, "What’s happening in your book now?" or "What are the characters like in the book you are reading?"
  4. Play games like Scrabble, Spill and Spell, Scattergories, and Balder-dash together—they are fun and they reinforce reading skills.
  5. Limit television viewing to 14 hours a week. Gradually reducing TV time can increase time for reading.
  6. Make time for the library. Encourage your kids to find different types of books—nonfiction informational books, and poetry, history, travel, and cookbooks—at the library to increase awareness of topics and subjects.
  7. Encourage children this age to read to younger children and siblings.
  8. Give gifts that encourage reading and writing: reading lamps, magazine subscriptions, books, stationary, pens, and blank books.
  9. Agree with your child on the time and place for homework. Make sure your child knows this is a high priority. If there are problems staying focused on homework, start a study group, get a tutor, or make a plan.
  10. Be confident that it is worth the effort and your child’s complaints to do all it takes to help your child be successful in reading and writing.

Thank you for being an active "partner in learning" in the education of your child.

Mr. D. Sweeney