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Central Elementary School (CES) students were treated to a special night of cookies, carols and crafts at the Central Holiday Literacy Event. Meg Masters, project coordinator of the Literacy Everywhere grant, read Christmas stories to students. While reading “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” by Dr. Seuss the Grinch himself showed up! Clifford the Big Red Dog also came to visit, as well as the night’s main guest, Santa Claus. Students were treated to Christmas snacks courtesy of Neal Nickolson with Little Debbie. Each student took home a Christmas book of their choice, as well as an ornament to decorate.
While the students were participating in their activities, parents were learning ways to help their child become better readers when reading with them at home. Central Elementary teachers Leslie Wells, Connie Hagan, Lisa Compher, MaryAnn Waters, and Central Elementary reading coach, Donna Porch, led these sessions which focused on using the online tools for the new reading series McGraw Hill Open Court that Central Elementary School began using this year. Parents have access to a lot of tools online, which provide extra practice with reading skills.
Mrs. Masters would like to thank all the staff at CES who led or assisted with the parent sessions for the Central Holiday Literacy Event. She states, “I cannot express how thankful I am to everyone who helped make this event a success. There is no way it would have happened without these dedicated staff members. I think all the smiles and excitement of the children made all the hard work very worthwhile. It is so important to get the students excited about reading. These events provide that opportunity, as well as a way to help parents become partners in their child’s literacy journey.”
A huge thanks also goes out to project assistant, Maressa Ware, for helping organize, set up and take pictures of the event. Central High School (CHS) staff Annette Long and Coach Elliot were stars as the Grinch and Santa respectively, as well as CHS student Alyssa Woodfin, who was Clifford. Thank you to CES librarian Jannah Phillips, FACE team member Shelia Tuck and CES Principal Kara Forbus for their time and help, as well. Lastly, thank you to all the parents who were able to participate in the event; you have the biggest impact on your child’s success.
We look forward to further opportunities to work with parents in the future to help our students achieve their reading goals.
All CES students were able to choose five books as a holiday present to take home for their home library at the winter book fair held in the CES Library. The students who participated in Central Holiday Literacy Event got to pick their book presents first. Findings published in the journal “Social Science Research” show that raising a child in a home filled with books positively impacts their future academic growth and job attainment. Specifically, as “Pacific Standard” reported, the study found that when it comes to standardized tests, “Regardless of how many books the family already has, each addition to the home library helps children do better.”
One objective of the Literacy Everywhere grant is to help the children of Coosa County build their home libraries. Being surrounded by many books where they live helps children build vocabulary, increase awareness and comprehension, and expand horizons – all benefiting them in adulthood. In addition, books in the home make a difference beyond literacy. There is a correlation between homes full of books and both the “ability to use mathematical concepts in everyday life” and “the ability to use digital technology to communicate with others.”