Friday, April 12, 2013

Family Literacy Event!

Thanks to a generous grant from Target, I was able to host my first Family Literacy Event today here at PS8x Library.

Last month I consulted with my Principal and we agreed to target (no pun intended, really) our youngest students. I sent out invitations to two kindergarten classes and received about 15 positive responses. It was raining and cold this morning, and I worried that nobody would show up.
Boy was I wrong.

At today's Family Literacy Event, at least 24 parents completed their survey; many parents did not complete their survey because I didn't have enough copies. I think almost 30 parents participated in all.

Today we discussed the importance of reading at home. It's so easy to not sit down with your children after a long day at work/school. We as Care-Givers face many hurdles: lack of time; fatigue; the lure of the Internet; television; insufficient funds to buy books, etc. My message today to our participants was simple: You are your child's very first teacher. You must be proactive and read WITH and TO your children everyday. In our school, we have excellent hard-working teachers. However, in most cases the student teacher ratio is 1:25. At home the child parent ratio is much more favorable. Just think the impact of just 15 minutes a day would make. If 15 minutes is too much, then start at 5 minutes. Just start.

I reviewed the surveys that were returned to me and saw that more than half of today's participants admit to reading with their children only 1x per week. This is worrisome.   
In my next Family Literacy Event, I hope to address time-saving strategies to help busy Care-Givers find time to read with their children.
What do you think?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Animal fiction

Lately I've been reading some animal fiction: 
Black Beauty by Sewell; 

Shiloh by Naylor; 

Tennessee Rose Horse Diaries by Kendall; 

And Old Yeller by Gipson. 
In each instance I struggled to finish these titles, and they took me way too much time to complete. Why? 

I've discovered that I am a great big cry-baby when it comes to reading animal fiction. Animals such as horses and dogs are at the mercy of events, circumstances, and people. Most people are kind, but some are cruel.  I can't tolerate cruelty. 

So what am I reading this weekend?
Because of Winn-Dixie by DiCamillo.

So far, so good!