S’mores, campfires and a little bit of madness ushered in PARP (Pick a Reading Partner) programs in Windsor CSD elementary schools this week. Elementary students throughout the District can earn prizes by reading at home to parents, siblings, or even pets.
“The goal is to get the kids to have fun and to make a habit of reading at home for fun,” said Shelly Bennett, a parent who is coordinating Weeks Elementary’s PARP program.
“It’s about encouraging kids to read at home with their families and promote a love of reading,” said Jamie Leach, a literacy teacher at Palmer Elementary. “It’s about fun and knowing that no matter what you do in your life reading is important.”
Students will keep track of how much they are reading at home each night and return their reading logs to school to earn prizes such as bookmarks, pencils and games. PARP will also feature special guest readers. These will be parents, grandparents and others in the community.
WBNG sports anchor Tyler Feldman kicked off PARP at Palmer Elementary by reading Long Shot, Never too Small to Dream Big by NBA player Chris Paul. Feldman talked to students about how reading and writing is crucial in his job, noting that reporters write their own scripts.
“To share the importance of reading and writing with the kids here in Windsor is so important. I had a blast,” said Feldman.
“It’s good for students to see different people from throughout the community talk about the importance of reading,” said Leach.
Palmer will hold a March Madness-themed PARP program this month. Eight classrooms will each become a college team, with students keeping track of their home reading. Six teams will move on after the first week, four after the second and two after the third until a winner is crowned. The top three teams will win prizes for their classrooms.
Bell has turned its school into Camp Read-A-Lot. Students made s’more trail mix at the start of class before sitting to hear a story in front of a paper campfire. Some heard a chapter from a book in hopes that students would check the book out at the library to read the rest. Others heard a book from the Humphrey series in hopes that would check out another book from the series.
“On Friday we’ll have a book swap and all the kids will get their own book and flashlight,” said Janice Sutphin, a teacher at Bell Elementary.
PARP will run through the first week of March at Bell, and for the month of March at Weeks and Palmer.