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...

Early literacy key ingredient

By Sharon Kelly Youth and public services librarian Posted Jun. 2, 2015 at 5:13 PM Parenting – it’s said, “is the toughest job you will ever love!” From the moment children are born, the age old process of worrying begins. Are they eating enough? Are they getting enough sleep? Are they developing normally? Will they be ready for school? These are all valid and important concerns, some of them easier than others to overcome, but when it comes to early literacy and helping children get ready to read, we at the library are here to help. Last week, York Public Library hosted Shannon Schinagl, Maine State Library’s new Early Literacy Consultant, for an interactive presentation on early literacy. This workshop brought librarians, teachers and daycare providers together for an informative session about what all of us, including parents and caregivers, can do to help every child get ready to read. After all, the cornerstone to early literacy is what children learn about reading and writing before they actually learn to read and write. Schinagl broke this process down into six easy steps, with FUN as the main focus! Here is what she recommends. Step one: Print Motivation, which is best thought of as a child’s interest in and enjoyment of books. This can be as simple as reading to your child, or having them tell you about a book you have read together. Make books part of play time – keep books in the toy box! Step two: Print Awareness, is knowing how a book works and how to follow the words on the page. Let your child turn the pages themselves when...

Our Opinion: Establish summer reading routine with young children; it could be life-changing

As the school year ends, parents and guardians can do their kids a big favor by insisting they not shelve away books for the summer. Encourage the elementary-age child in your life to read daily. Better yet, snuggle up and read with him or her. The same goes for preschool children – whose future success in the classroom and in life, many people believe, could hinge on early and frequent exposure to reading. “Science tells us that 90 percent of a person’s brain is developed by age 5,” Bill Jones, president of the United Way of Wyoming Valley, recently told a Times Leader reporter. “Reading to and with young children is the most effective way to increase their intellectual capacity, and its results affect their entire lives.” Youngsters who fail to master appropriate reading skills by the third grade tend to encounter problems over the long haul and in many cases land in the social-services safety net or in prison, according to early childhood education advocates. Here’s the logic behind that theory: Lacking an ability to read on par with their peers, children are more likely to fall behind academically and become more prone to ultimately drop out of high school. No diploma, no job. No job, few good options. For those and other reasons, not the least of which is family bonding, be a positive influence in your child’s or grandchild’s formative years. Make weekly trips with him or her to one of Luzerne County’s public libraries. At the Osterhout Free Library’s main branch in Wilkes-Barre, for instance, you’ll find the Pollock Children’s Wing packed with age-appropriate titles. Plus, the library routinely...