Hampton Bays Elementary School recently started their school-wide “Pick a Reading Partner” initiative. The three-week PARP program began with an assembly where students were encouraged to develop a lifelong love of reading, and told how they could win individual and class prizes by reading with a partner every day for at least 15 minutes.
The theme of this year’s PARP program is “Reading Jogs the Mind.” With this in mind, teachers will dress up and to get the children enthusiastic about reading. Students were also treated to a theatrical production of The Great Big Book Adventure by CM Performing Arts Center of Oakdale.
PARP aims to encourage students to read outside the classroom and incentivizes them to complete weekly reading logs. The PTA-run program has been running at the school for more than a decade. Rachel Schnibbe, a Hampton Bays Elementary PTA member and PARP Chair, has dedicated herself to finding great incentives for children participating in the program, such as dining certificates for families at local restaurants and free books.
“The program helps students because they are reading more, which helps with fluency and comprehension,” says Liliana Cacace, reading specialist and planner of the PARP Author-Illustrator night at Hampton Bays Elementary School. “Parents report appreciation for the program as their children ask to snuggle up and read, rather than be told to,” Cacace says. “The students see that teachers are gearing up for reading and participate in the reading activities, and see that it’s not just homework, but part of your everyday activities.”
Along with the kick-off celebration, this year’s program has a few features and activities planned to get students geared up for reading. The Hampton Bays Elementary School principals, special area teachers, parents and even local author Wendy Wax (Ten Beach Road, The House on Mermaid Point) have volunteered to be in-classroom readers.
This year, the school has added a special “DEAR” feature, which stands for “Drop Everything and Read,” where principal Marc Meyer makes a surprise announcement and the whole school stops what they’re doing and takes 15 minutes to read.
At Author-Illustrator night on Wednesday, March 16, students will get to meet local authors and illustrators, and get books signed and purchase them if they’d like.
Perhaps most exciting of all—at least for the kids—a pizza party will be awarded to the class whose students read the most.
Find more info about Hampton Bays Elementary School and its programs at hbschools.us.