Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco elementary reading events bring literacy to life

In presenting their third annual Literacy Day event, staff members at Moon Lake Elementary School wanted to do more than enhance students' love for books.

"We want to bring books to life," said literacy coach Valerie Burnett.

So on Friday, teachers joined parent and community volunteers to host a day of reading and literacy related activities.

"Today, it's all about reading," said Mary Tovo, physical education teacher and Literacy Day co-organizer at Moon Lake Elementary. "We shut everything else down."

As the morning commenced, a line of volunteers checked in at the school library. By way of some creative costumes, parents and community members morphed into witches, mice, cartoon characters and figures of the pioneer age.

One of the most high-profile volunteers, Pasco school superintendent Kurt Browning, donned a sporty sombrero for a reading of Skippyjon Jones.

Students in Nicole Gunn's third-grade class laughed and cheered as Browning presented a dramatic performance of the book — at one point demonstrating a dance move known as the shimmy, also performed by a character in the book.

Then he led them through a reading comprehension quiz that tested their knowledge of terms and ideas used in the book.

"What does the word 'hush' mean?" he asked at one point.

"It means to be quiet!" replied Angelina Smith, a third-grader.

A few of the students, in turn, had questions for Browning.

"Who are you?" asked Erika Bougher, also a third-grader.

"I'm Mr. Browning," he replied with a smile. "Chief elf of Pasco schools."

Parent volunteer Karyn Reifenstein dressed as a pioneer woman from the late 1800s and read a Magic Treehouse story depicting the adventures of pioneer children. She brought props that represented life from that time, including an old washboard to a pioneer-style dress.

"That dress is so cute!" exclaimed Jasmine Shamby, another third-grader. "I would so wear it!"

Reifenstein completed her activity by leading students through a down-home butter-making recipe from the 1800s.

The kids came away with some creamy homemade butter on a cracker — and every kid who attended Literacy Day got to take home a free book.

"We're here to take you on an adventure today," Reifenstein said.

Reading was also an adventure at West Zephyrhills Elementary, which has hosted two public literacy events in the past week.

On Tuesday, West Zephyrhills hosted a Read Across America event at McDonald's. More than 100 people — parents, children and teachers — gathered to read books, enjoy reduced-price Happy Meals and take home free books.

"We had standing room only that night at McDonald's," said parent involvement coordinator Becky Bishop, adding with a smile, "and they were there for the books, not just the Happy Meals."

"We had teachers reading to kids, kids reading to teachers, and parents and kids reading to each other," said principal Wendy Lane. "And I had kids reading to me."

This celebratory spirit continued Thursday evening, when West Zephyrhills staff members and families celebrated the 109th birthday of Dr. Seuss. Guests included costumed Seuss characters the Cat in the Hat and Thing I and Thing II; though once again, the true guests of honor were the children who took away free books, treats and prizes.

"We do what it takes to get children excited about reading," said literacy coach Shawn Graham. "We need to get them engaged in literacy."

Apart from special events, the school is connected to the myON e-reader program, thanks to a grant procured through the Zephyrhills Lions Club. The interactive system allows students to choose and read books online as well as complete related learning activities.

West Zephyrhills media specialist Brooks Marshall helped coordinate the technological aspects of the myON reader program and organized the school's reader rallies, which she also coordinates at Centennial Elementary School.

"We design different reading experiences every month and introduce a take home reading strategy," said Marshall. "We started with the process of I PICK — how to pick the appropriate and interesting text for a student. Our next steps were to encourage reading informational text and other literature opportunities.

"Reading rallies are an exciting opportunity for the parent, literacy specialist and media specialist to discover a student's reading interests and appropriate reading level."

Pasco elementary reading events bring literacy to life 03/12/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 7:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Senate to take up AUMF debate as Trump defends reaction to Niger attack

    World

    WASHINGTON — The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is taking up a long-awaited debate about authorizing military force against the Islamic State as President Trump comes under unprecedented public scrutiny for his treatment of dead soldiers' families, following an ambush on troops helping to fight Islamic …

  2. In fear and vigilance, a Tampa neighborhood holds its breath

    K12

    TAMPA — There was a time, not long ago, when Wayne Capaz would go for a stroll at night and Christina Rodriguez would shop whenever she wanted. Michael Fuller would go to his night job as a line cook, not too worried about his wife at home.

    More than 50 people gathered and walked in the Southeast Seminole Heights community Friday to pay respects to the victims of three shootings. The crowd took a moment of silence at the corner of 11th Street and East New Orleans where Monica Hoffa was found dead. [JONATHAN CAPRIEL  |  Times]
  3. Fennelly: What's not to like about Lightning's start?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — No one is engraving the Stanley Cup. No one has begun stuffing the league MVP ballot box for Nikita Kucherov.

    The Lightning, with a win tonight, would match the best start in franchise history, 7-1-1 in the 2003-04 Cup season.
  4. Study: Pollution kills 9 million a year, costs $4.6 trillion

    World

    NEW DELHI — Environmental pollution — from filthy air to contaminated water — is killing more people every year than all war and violence in the world. More than smoking, hunger or natural disasters. More than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined.

    New Delhi’s landmark India Gate, a war memorial, is engulfed in morning smog on Friday.
  5. Quarterback Jameis Winston will start Sunday for the Bucs

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Jameis Winston hadn't thrown in practice since he injured his right shoulder in Sunday's loss at Arizona, and with that uncertainty, a wide line of TV cameras and reporters' cellphones were all out Friday morning, recording the moment as Winston tested his shoulder with his first throws early in …

    Despite a sore shoulder, Jameis Winston will be making his 38th consecutive start since being drafted first overall in 2015.