2017-06-09 / Community

Brown Elementary School

Celebrating Literacy

Margaret Hawkins, Principal

Research shows that the more a child reads, the better reader they will become. Keeping that in mind, Brown School has had a year-long, school wide celebration of literacy to promote reading for pleasure as well as for information. In addition to the great literacy instruction going on in every classroom, we chose to give special attention to literacy in multiple ways throughout the 2016-17 school year. After an exciting kick off assembly hosted by our Literacy teachers and library staff, students got right down to business, reading, reading and more reading. For every ten minutes that students spent reading, they earned a link for a paper chain that eventually wound its way all around the inside of Brown School. Each grade level had a different color link which made for some very colorful hallways and some very lively conversations about great books. To help students realize that listening to books is also a great way to enjoy literature, we were able to provide every student and staff member with a subscription to Tales2Go, a collection of over 8,000 audiobooks. During the first month of the subscription, students’ listening minutes totaled 23,579. Our celebration reached beyond he walls of Brown School and out into the community. We hosted guest readers from the City Council, School Board and the South Portland Police Department who shared their favorite childhood book. Our next group of guest readers will be the Top Scholars from South Portland High School. They too will share their favorite books and talk about how reading has contributed to their school success. In addition, we have had two very exciting community partnerships that enhanced our celebration of Literacy. A partnership with Big Brothers, Big Sisters and the Dead River Company called BIG READERS. Every week eight Grade 2 students and our Literacy teacher travel to the corporate offices of Dead River Company to meet their Dead River employee mentors to eat lunch and read books. This partnership has been very successful and will continue in to the 2017-18 school year. Our other partnership is with the Hiram Lodge of South Portland called BIKES FOR BOOKS. Grade 3 students all across the district read books and then enter a drawing for every book read. One boy and one girl from every Grade 3 classroom will win a brand new bike and helmet. This has also been a very successful partnership that we hope will continue into another school year. Our annual book fair and book swap was a great opportunity for everyone to add to their own personal library. And finally, in conjunction with National Children’s Book Week, students (and staff ) will come to school dressed as their favorite book character. This has been an annual event that everyone looks forward to and enjoys. This has been a very exciting and successful initiative to promote Literacy. Plans are being made to continue our celebration into the summer.

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