Early Reading Success—What Parents Can Do to Help Their Children Thrive

As parents, we all want what is best for our children. Whether it is getting them involved in sports or community activities, or just making sure they brush their teeth, we strive to put our children on the path to success. One of the most important ways parents can support their children is by helping them to build literacy skills early in life. Learning to read is one of the most important phases in a child’s education. The ability to read is a significant predictor of success in school and in life. That is why Mississippi adopted the Literacy-Based Promotion Act to provide strong support in the early grades for young students and their families. Starting in the 2018-19 school year, 3rd grade students must score at level 3 or higher on the reading portion of the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP) English Language Arts test to qualify for promotion to 4th grade – a higher benchmark than in previous years. Parent involvement is also critical to students’ success. There are many ways that parents can help their children build and strengthen their reading skills. Here are a few suggestions: Read with your child at least 20 minutes each day. Consistent practice goes a long way! Talk about letters and sounds. Help your child learn the names of the letters and the sounds the letters make. Sing rhyming songs, read rhyming books, and say tongue twisters with your child. This helps them learn new sounds in words. Talk to your child. Use trips to the grocery store, dinnertime chats, and driving in the car as a time to introduce...

Tool Available to Help Children Find Great Books to Read this Summer

The Mississippi Department of Education, through the Office of Elementary Education and Reading, would like to encourage parents to use the “Find a Book, Mississippi” search tool to support summer reading. It is a fun and easy way to build custom reading lists based on students’ interests and the reading Lexile measure.  “Find a Book, Mississippi” is a free tool for parents and students and includes access to certificates for reaching a summer reading goal! Download the Find a Book, Mississippi flyer...

3rd Grade Reading Test Results Available for Final Retest

Statewide, an estimate of 92 percent of 3rd graders have achieved a passing score on the 3rd Grade Reading Summative Assessment. The passing rate incorporates the results of the first test administration in April, the first retest in May, and the final retest over the summer. The statewide passing rate for the initial test was 85 percent. Students need to score at least 926 on the 3rd Grade Reading Summative Assessment to be eligible for promotion to the 4th grade. The number of students who did not pass the test is 2,907. Local school districts are responsible for determining which of their students who did not pass qualify for one of the good cause exemptions for promotion to 4th grade. Once all districts have documented those students who were promoted with a good cause exemption, the Mississippi Department of Education will release a report on the number of exemptions by district. Mississippi’s Literacy-Based Promotion Act requires that a student scoring at the lowest achievement level on the 3rd Grade Reading Summative Assessment be retained in 3rd grade, unless the student meets one of the good cause exemptions specified in the law. The 2014-2015 year was the first year that a reading test was required for 3rd graders to be promoted to 4th grade. For the full article click the link below....

Be a Champion and Read Contest

The Mississippi Association of Educators believes reading is the child’s key to success in school and life. That’s why MAE is emphasizing reading through its Be a Champion and Read contest. The goal of the contest is to get your child excited about reading. Entering your child in the contest is simple! Choose six reading-level appropriate books and encourage your child to read all of them before the final date to qualify as a “champion reader” on Friday, October 23. Students who meet the six-book challenge qualify for the contest drawing. The grand prize winner receives tickets to the Egg Bowl with two guests, a visit to the field during pre-game activities and a school prize pack! There will be two winners, one for MSU and one for Ole Miss. Other prizes will be awarded to four students from each team. Students can only choose one team and enter the contest one time. Only K-8 Mississippi public school students can participate and win. Additionally, four participating teachers or librarians will win $500 for their classroom. There is also a $250 cash prize which will be awarded to four teachers who have the best decorated bulletin board, door, or classroom promoting the contest. Be sure to mark which team your child is reading for – MSU or Ole Miss! Students completing the challenge will receive a MSU or Ole Miss bookmark and certificate highlighting that your child is a championship reader! Don’t forget that your child’s reading list is due to the teacher by Friday, October 23....

Summer Camp Boosts Reading Skills

  By Chris Kieffer Daily Journal TUPELO – Tupelo elementary school students who are struggling with reading skills are getting extra help this summer from a church-based program. This is the fourth year The Orchard has hosted SummerSALT, a summer-reading program that serves nearly 115 students, ranging from those who are entering kindergarten through those entering third grade. The acronym SALT is for studying and learning together. “We are being proactive,” said Merissa Rambo, missions director at The Orchard, noting that community supporters made the program possible. “We looked around, and we live in Mississippi, which ranks at the bottom of the country in literacy. We need to do something about it, so what can we do?” Students who need extra help in reading are referred to the free program by teachers, principals and others in the Tupelo School District, as well as by four local daycares. Each classroom has a certified teacher, assistant teacher, volunteer helper and no more than 12 students, ensuring small-group instruction. “I love it because it is a concentrated time to focus on reading skills,” said Carver Elementary first-grade teacher Anita McGraw, who is one of the program’s 10 teachers. “Everything is so well organized so when we get in there with the kids, we can focus on teaching them.” The program uses contributions from local businesses to hire the teachers and assistant teachers to work with the students. The plan is to counter the summer slide, the idea that students forget during the long summer break some of the skills they learned and then begin the new school year behind where they ended...