Fletcher Elementary School's cafeteria was packed with students and their families doing activities related to Dr. Seuss books for the school's Family Reading Night as part of their PARP (Parents as Reading Partners) Program. The night included eight stations. As families traveled to a station, they received a sticker for their "passport."
"We are so thrilled with the attendance at our Family Reading Night," said reading teacher Stephanie David, who, with fellow teachers Mindy John. Laurie Bird and Cassie Monaghan, along with all Fletcher staff and PTA, presented the night. "We wanted to encourage families to become more involved in literacy activities to promote reading. We also want to show parents different activities they can do at home with their children to encourage reading outside of the classroom."
The Family Reading Night included eight stations: "One Fish, Two Fish" where students became writers like Dr. Seuss; "The Foot Book" using character's feet, like The Grinch, to learn to measure; "Bartholomew and the Oobleck," where students made their own oobleck - a fun substance that is both a solid and a liquid, "Cat in the Hat" where families performed tricks; "Apples Up Top," where families stacked apples on their heads; "Hop on Pop" a hopscotch game; "Yertle the Turtle," an art activity to make a Yertle out of paper bowls, paint and google eyes; and an activity table with puzzles, coloring and tic-tac-toe.
Former Fletcher Elementary School teacher Rita Brown reads ‘‘Fox in Sox’’ by Dr. Seuss during the dedication of the school’s new Book Nook.
Fletcher Elementary School third-grade student Skylar Paxton works on the ‘‘Cat Tricks’’ station run by second-grade teacher Mary Indriolo during a recent Family Reading Night.
Fletcher Elementary School second-grade student Ashley Patch stacks apples for 'Ten Apples Up on Top' activity during a recent Family Reading Night.
A special part of the Family Reading Night was the dedication of a new "Book Nook" at Fletcher Elementary School. The Nook, made possible by the generous donations of the Fletcher PTA, teachers and families, is situated in the main hallway and includes comfy chairs and a couch, a bright rug, warm lamps and bookshelves full of books. Teachers, staff and families donated books. Teachers Rudi Andalora, Anne Sischo and Mike Ekstrom came up with the idea one Saturday while working.
"We wanted to create an area that would dress up the entrance and encourage school pride, but also, a useful place where students and adults could sit down and read," said Mrs. Sischo. "We hope to use the area as a reward and build a community of readers."
The Book Nook was dedicated to former Fletcher Elementary School teacher Rita Brown who taught for 36 years and helped start the PARP Program at the school. She attended the Book Nook opening, read Dr. Seuss' "Fox in Sox" and wore crazy socks just for the occasion.
"I really like socks. Everyone show me your socks. I have cool socks on today too. I love books about socks like 'Smelly Socks' and 'Gracie Meets the Sock Monster.' The Book Nook is such a great idea. Any opportunity to get you reading, and wanting to read, is a great idea. You all need to thank your PTA and staff for creating this wonderful corner that will encourage future generations of Fletcher students," said Mrs. Brown.
The students love the area too.
"I like reading and reading to other kids too," said third-grader Josh Person. "I love the Book Nook because it is so comfortable and relaxing to read in. I don't have a favorite book because I love all of them!"
Jean Trisket, a resident from the Frewsburg Rest Home, recently visited the school to read to students and donate $100 to the school from the Resident Council to purchase more books for the Book Nook."
"I was a teacher at Love School for 22 years and I loved it," said Mrs. Trisket. "This is a lovely corner. I've never seen anything like it at another school. It's terrific for the school to encourage reading at such a young age. I've had a wonderful time. The students were such good listeners and I'd love to come again."
The school hopes to have guest readers, like the residents from Frewsburg Rest Home, on a regular basis to read to students in the Book Nook.
"The Book Nook will constantly evolve with different books at different ability levels and various genres to keep the student's interest," said Mr. Andalora. "We hope to keep adding books that match up material learned in the classroom with reading materials in the Book Nook."