Weakley County Schools students have their eyes in the books this week as they celebrate Read Across America through a variety of fun activities and guest readers.
An initiative implemented in 1998 by the National Education Association, Read Across America focuses on motivating children and teens to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources for people every age.
Martin Elementary School Principal Patresa Rogers believes that this is a special way to help students foster the love of reading for a lifetime.
“This is a fun and entertaining way to encourage reading and show students how fun it can be. Martin Elementary teachers emphasize the importance of reading as a foundation in everything they teach during the school year. Read Across America week, however, is a time for everyone to be creative and really have fun with it,” said Rogers.
Throughout the week, students in schools across the county celebrate themed days such as wearing special wacky outfits or mismatched socks, dressing up as a favorite book character, and wearing favorite pajamas for ‘cozy up with a good book’ day. Read Across America activities also include reading contests, creating arts or crafts from favorites books, group reading goals, and more.
Special guest speakers and older peer groups are reading aloud to students throughout the course of the week.
Tracy Bell, Martin Primary School Principal, has observed that children who are excited about school perform better in the classroom.
“Doing all we can to motivate children to read is an essential part of student achievement,” acknowledged Bell. “That is part of the reason we love ‘Read Across America’ Week – to create excitement and build momentum around the love of reading. It can make all the difference in the day of a student, their growth, and their achievement to love what they are doing in the classroom.”
Several students shared what reading means to them.
“Reading books is my favorite thing to do. My friends will be so cooled out by Chewy, my snake stuffie, that I get to bring to school on Thursday,” said Hannah Moore, Kindergartener at Dresden Elementary School.
Julliun Tate, first grader at Martin Primary School student, said “Going to the library is always a fun time because Mrs. Selena lets us check out books and she helps us a lot.”
“Mrs. Alyse [Darby] is my teacher. I love the “Baby-Sitters Club” books, and I also love “Mallory” books,” said Greenfield School third grader Mille Bryant.
Motivating children to read is an essential piece of student achievement according to Assistant Director of Schools Betsi Foster.
“Reading is a fundamental part of learning, but it also stimulates kids’ imagination. It gives them the permission to be creative and to think outside the box. There is so much research that shows the positive impact that reading has on hard and soft skills development, academic success, health and well-being, as well as growth and achievement overall. Read Across America Week is a standout week that helps educators promote those parts of reading that are both fun and essential,” said Foster.
For more about Weakley County Schools, visit weakleycountyschools.com.