At a recent Washington Middle School Family Literacy Night, teacher Amy Anderson recited the poem, "Deliver Me," to Washington families.
"I want you to visualize what I am reading to you on the white boards. Draw pictures and try to include as many details as you can."
Anderson read the poem twice so that families could add specific details to their drawings.
Washington Middle School sixth-grader Alexis Moon works with her dad, Tom, on a visualization exercise during a recent Washington Middle School Family Literacy Night.
"Doing visualization exercises is a great strategy to use with your child when you are reading with them. Having middle school students jot down pictures or key words will have them better tune into whatever they are listening to when you read."
Anderson worked at the "Strategies Station" during Washington Middle School's Family Literacy Night. The families really enjoyed the opportunity to learn and socialize.
"I think reading is so important, and also, just spending time with your child," said mother Amy Russo.
"We also get a free book," said her son, fifth-grader Jordan Russo.
The Washington Family Literacy Night was the brainchild of Reading Specialist Jennifer Cronin.
"I think it is very important for us to make connections with Washington families to help them understand the best strategies for reading," said Cronin. "We also want students to love to read for fun outside of school. Families can encourage and model good reading. By holding the Family Literacy Night, we give them strategies to do that at home. Students must be immersed in reading to comprehend it. So, the more we can encourage reading all the time, the better students' reading comprehension will be."
Cronin set up four literacy stations: a strategies station, a technology station in the library with different websites for students and parents, a lexile station to explain about student reading levels, how books are leveled and what text at different levels looks like, and a game station with different literacy games like "Beach Ball Comprehension" where parents wrote a question about the story they read, threw the ball in the air and had students answer the question.
Each family received a bag full of literacy goodies including: games, additional strategies to get their child reading outside of school and a book. Information about literacy strategies at home included: listening to audio books, writing recipes and then following directions and telling stories about your family. Washington School, with the help of Honest John's, also provided a pizza party for the families who attended.
"I want to thank all the staff volunteers that helped with the Family Literacy Night Amy Anderson, Priscilla Menzies, Stacey Daniels, Stacy Brand, Cathy Pitts, Bridget Phillips, Rosemary Hedberg, the DiMaio family and Annie Greene from the James Prendergast Library. Their help made the event a success," said Cronin.