A new school year means that we set goals and priorities to improve our school and learning outcomes for our students. As a staff, we commit to these goals and identify how we will achieve them in a process that is documented in our 2019-20 School Improvement Plan. A current draft of this plan is available on our school website.
One of our goals is to develop strong readers who love to read. Some of our strategies include instructional methods that teach specific skills. Others are intended to motivate students to choose reading as a useful and joyful activity. While we work to do what we can at school, we know that the connection between home and school is invaluable.
Year after year, research tells us that having a variety of reading materials available at home, promoting a positive attitude about reading and writing, as well as spending time reading and discussing reading is associated with reading proficiency. Here are a few specific ways families can promote literacy at home:
- Tell stories. We all love to hear stories about the people we care about. Talk about a funny, exciting, or other memorable event that happened when you were young. Encourage your child to tell stories. Make up stories together. Capture stories in homemade books, scrapbooks and journals. Spend time reading and re-reading these treasured texts.
- Make reading special. Take your kids to the library, help them get their own library card, read with them, and buy them books and magazines as gifts. Have a favorite place for reading materials in your home or, even better, have them everywhere, including in the car.
- Talk about reading. Tell your child about yourself as a reader. Share information that you learned from reading the newspaper or a magazine, paper or digitally. Discuss age-appropriate aspects of books or articles that you are reading. Start a family book club by reading the same book or establishing a regular time to read together. Share your enthusiasm for reading by discussing it over dinner, in the car or anytime you are together.
- Participate in reading-related opportunities at school. Support nightly reading assignments with enthusiasm, attend events where our partner The Free Book Bus is set up offering a selection of free books for students and their families, visit the Red Hill school library and check out books for yourself or other family members, and shop at the Scholastic Book Fair.
Stay up to date with classroom and school-wide reading initiatives through classroom news, student planners, Tuesday Folder flyers and the Moosletter. If you need reading material or specific suggestions for your child or family, contact your child’s teacher.