OSWEGO, NY – Reading during the summer months is invaluable for youngsters.
With that as a major concern, Fitzhugh Park Elementary School Principal Donna Simmons sought to initiate a summer literacy program for students in her school.
Teacher Chris Haessig became engrossed in the project and helped to undertake the organization and prep work that was necessary to help bring this type of program to fruition.
However, Simmons desire was not only to have a summer literacy program for students, but she noted, â€œI really wanted to include parents and guardians. It is important that reading is a family effort and this is something very close to my heart.â€
Continuing she said, â€œReading is so important and students can lose an edge in reading over the summer months when they arenâ€™t reading on a regular basis. Itâ€™s called the â€˜summer slide.â€™Â Reading is a foundational subject which impacts every subject that a student takes. I am overjoyed to see the parent-student involvement this summer and it will go a long way to benefit the students.â€
Reading opens many doors for an opportunity full of learning.
Simmons noted, â€œI believe there is no better time than summer to begin helping our children/parents bridge the gap in learning between the end of one school year to the beginning of the next one. Research has proven children who read during the summer maintain many of the skills they learned during the school year.â€
Teachers Erin Wilder, Jamie Brancato, Erin Trapasso andÂ Chris Haessig welcomed the students and parents to the Oswego Public Library Community Room.
Looking around the room at the one-on-one relationships between students and parents or students and teachers it was evident that the youngsters were focused on their books.
One youngster noted, â€œI wake up early every morning and canâ€™t wait until we come here to read.â€
Trapasso noted, â€œThe strategies we taught the children and parents are life-long reading strategies.Â We hope that they will take what they learned to apply them, for not only the school year, but for the future.â€œ
She noted this was a cooperative team effort.
She said, â€œWe all planned the lessons together, which was fun to collaborate for the good of our Fitzhugh Park students and for our future reading students in the fall.Â We are planning to use these lessons with other students that might not have been able to attend this summer.â€
The teachers also used Oswego teacher Anna Lombardoâ€™s Comprehension Tool Kit that was created from a grant a few years back to help plan many of the lessons.
She said, â€œThis toolkit is such a great resource for teachers in the district, so we thank her for that great resource.â€
More than 60 students benefited from this summer endeavor.
Trapasso noted, â€œIt is a three-week program for two hours two days a week. Hopefully the students and parents took home strategies that will be beneficial. We wanted to teach strategies, model them and then practice them. We wanted to try to help parents guide their children in making them successful readers.â€
There were several strategies that were introduced or reinforced during the summer including how to pick out a good fit book, buddy reading, remembering critical parts of a story, and visualization among other items.
Each child also took home a â€œringâ€ of important notes and facts that they will be able to use for reference purposes.
Not only did each child have an opportunity to read, but each day Aunt Maryâ€™s provided either breakfast orÂ light dinner for the participants.
Summer reading was enjoyed by all as student and parents from the Fitzhugh Park Elementary School were dedicated to reading and to one another in this very important summer program.