Reading is fun!
Each March the Reading Team at Hoosick Falls Elementary puts together a month long celebration of reading based on the model of Parents As Reading Partners (PARP). “PARP is a program aimed at involving parents in the essential task of helping their children become better readers. It is a united endeavor amid parents, staff, community, and libraries to build a reading partnership/relationship between the home and the school. PARP is designed to foster the love of reading in children and encourages parents and other adults to read with their child for at least 15 minutes a day” (www.hamburgschools.org). In a letter sent home with the students the team writes that “PARP is a wonderful opportunity for parents and children to share in the joy of reading.”
This success of this program is made possible by the hard work of the teachers, participation of students and their parents and the sponsorship of the PTA. This collaboration goes far beyond just a reading program but is a month filled with engaging activities and incentives to promote reading. The staff has embraced the model and added to it to make the experience a true celebration.
“PARP was brought to Hoosick Falls many years ago by Tiffany Grant,” said Jenn Mitchell, a reading teacher at HFCS, “Ever since, we have put our own spin on it with a kick off, and various fun dress up days.”
The special events and dress up days are a big hit with the students (and teachers) and range from Decade Day, to Career Day, to Mismatch Day to Character Day. These themed days are put in place to help the entire school community to celebrate reading together. The daily events keep the children interested and remind them that the PARP program is going on, which in turn encourages them to complete their daily at-home reading. (Twin day pictured above)
This year’s kick-off event theme was “Wild About Reading” and children and teachers were encouraged to dress in animal themed clothing and the school enjoyed a presentation by Uncharted Wild. Uncharted Wild is an organization that promotes connections to our earth’s partners…creatures of the wild.
The overall goal is to encourage reading at home and there are incentives and prizes to encourage the children to do so. “Each week there are prizes for reading the amount of minutes required per grade level. Each week, every slip a child turns in is an opportunity for their name to be pulled for a bigger prize,” said Mitchell. PARP continues until the 29th of March when all reading slips are due back to classroom teachers. “All students who participated and met the reading goals for all four weeks get a new book, a certificate and a movie as a reward thanks to the PTA and their sponsorship of PARP.” added Mitchell.