We are pleased to announce that Roosevelt has received the 2015 San Mateo County Reading Association (SMCRA) Celebrate Literacy Award for the Reading Fair. The SMCRA recognizes programs for their significant contributions to reading instruction and literacy projects in San Mateo County.
The award was presented to Roosevelt’s Assistant Principal Tracy DaCosta and parent volunteer Trish Reilly Taylor for coordinating the event each year. We would like to extend our thanks to the parents and students of Roosevelt for producing wonderful Reading Fair boards each year, and to the judges that take the time out of their busy schedules to judge those boards.
Principal Girardi prepared the following speech for the awards ceremony:
How do you engage families in helping their children become better readers? At Roosevelt School, we believe that teachers and parents are partners in the education of their children and we are always looking for ways to involve our parents. We have family fun nights and parent/child educational nights that help to build a strong working partnership between the school and home. Nevertheless, we were looking for a way to our parents and their children could improve literacy skills in a fun and interactive manner.
So, I was so excited when parent, Trish Taylor shared what she learned about Reading Fairs in the southern and eastern states. A Reading Fair would provide a way for our families, both English speaking and non-English Speaking, literate or not, to interact with their children around a text.
Families could ask their children questions about the books they were reading and then create Reading Fair Boards together.
Our families were excited as we were and even though it was pouring rain that very first year, our cafeteria was packed with families for our Pizza and Prep Night. (It seems to be pouring down rain every Pizza and Prep Night.) Parents learned how to participate with their child in creating a Reading Fair Board, how they would be judged and were given some basic supplies to get started.
So, what is a Reading Fair and what is a Reading Fair Board? How do we start? Each year the teachers read books with their classes and together they make a classroom board, which will later be submitted in the classroom board category. Students then select their own books to read. At home, they create a display depicting various aspects of either a fiction or non-fiction book. Boards may be submitted in the Individual Board, Group/Family Board, or Classroom Board category. Community members who have an interest in literacy and love of books, come and judge the boards in teams of two. Ribbons are awarded to all participants based upon a scoring rubric. Grand Prize, Supreme, Excellent, Superior, Award of Merit. Participation ribbons are attached to boards before the evening reception begins. Students come to present their boards, demonstrating their knowledge and comprehension about the books they read.
Samples of some of our boards are around the room. I would like to now introduce you to the people who make our Reading Fair possible. My Assistant Principal, Tracy DaCosta and parent Trish Reilly Taylor, who coordinate the event, my teachers who promote reading with their students and my Office Manager Gwen Thomas who processes all the orders for the supplies. Without them, our annual Reading Fair would not be possible.
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