Editorial: Reading program is a good additionThere is something important happening this summer at North Trail Elementary School. Kids, freed from the burden of assignments and homework and tests, are coming to school and checking out books. They’re reading, and they’re having fun doing it.
There is something important happening this summer at North Trail Elementary School. Kids, freed from the burden of assignments and homework and tests, are coming to school and checking out books. They’re reading, and they’re having fun doing it.
Considering the concerns that exist about learning lost over the course of the three-month summer vacation, that is a big deal.
The program is simple enough in practice. Students come in and find books that look interesting. They read them, then take an online test about the content. If they want, they can add a circle to a paper caterpillar on the wall to demonstrate their progress to anyone who cares to notice. We suspect by the end of the summer there will be some pretty big caterpillars.
There is more to the program than that, of course. Media specialist Terese Jones has put in a lot of work to make the program appeals to students. She has chosen themes for each week during the summer and put together special materials and activities to go with topics like space or farming. She is finding a way to bring fun to a topic some students might find boring or intimidating.
Jones is removing barriers that might otherwise keep students from fine-tuning a vital skill at a time when shoring up reading skills can pay huge dividends. Fine-tuning reading skills early on can help students build a solid base for future learning.
This isn’t the only effort going on this summer in the Farmington School District. Schools around the district do what they can to keep kids interested in education.
We think it’s great efforts exist like this one at NTES. We think it’s great parents are bringing their kids in to check out books -- and maybe even checking some out themselves -- and we think it’s great North Trail’s Parent-Teacher Partnership has found a way to pay for it.
It seems like a simple thing, but we expect it will pay big dividends.