Literacy Night helps grade school students gain confidence

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While the fifth-graders narrated the performance, GWC second-graders performed various nursery rhymes.
Proud family members and adults rooting the children on.

Throughout the hallways of George Washington Carver Elementary are several signs that encourage reading. The school’s library is also full of visuals that promote reading.

Principal Kristyn Schmidt, now in her fourth year, believes that encouraging children to read can have a profound impact on their confidence.

“Our teachers do an amazing job of providing differentiated reading instruction to help students become better readers,” she said. “To me, reading is important because it provides many students with opportunities they may otherwise be unable to experience.”

On Tuesday, March 20, the school held a PTA / Title 1 Literacy Night. The purpose of the occasion, which began with second graders performing a variety of songs in the gymnasium, was to foster an interactive approach to partnering with parents and other adult family members to inspire the love of reading in children.

“The second-grade program was the result of collaboration between our talented music teacher Ms. Maria Eakin and our team of second-grade teachers,” Assistant Principal Sara Epperly said. “The students learned the songs in their music class. There were also several rehearsals prior to the big evening.”

DeAnna Crum’s responsibilities as Vice President for the PTA include working with other chairpersons to organize programs throughout the year, developing an annual calendar of events and creating school newsletters.

“Having good reading skills sets the stage for future success,” Crum said. “Literacy Night was a great way to show parents how to make reading fun. I loved how students took advantage of the opportunity to sign up for a library card through the Salem Public Library.”

A Salem resident since 2009, Jasmine Stone says she pushes her two daughters to read at least three books a week.

“Because they are only seven and five, they pretty much love anything that is Dr. Seuss related,” Stone said. “I incentivize reading for them. For every book that they read, I allow them to select any snack they want when we go to the grocery store.”

Another mother of a George Washington Carver Elementary School student, Leslie Hughes, says she hopes that more schools promote programs that encourage children to read.

“My son’s face lights up when he sees his friends reading,” Hughes said. “I wasn’t much of a reader when I was his age, so I’m glad that he isn’t like me in that regard. He thinks reading is cool, and I want to reinforce that to him constantly.”

GWC’s Assistant Principal says there are several things parents can do to help their children overcome reading deficiencies they may have.

“Encourage them to do independent reading at home and on a daily basis. Also, communicate with the teacher to better understand the child’s progress and needs,” she said. “Regular school attendance is a critical way to support students’ academic success in all areas, especially reading.”