Fremont Reading Week

Guest Readers Visit Classrooms for Reading Week
Posted on 02/26/2020
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Each year, National Read Across America Day is observed on March 2, the birthday of children’s book author Ted Geisel, a/k/a Dr. Seuss. In celebration, many schools often dedicate an entire week as “Reading Week.” In Carson City, grade-schoolers at Fremont Elementary School got to celebrate a week prior to the observance with several community partners and local dignitaries, who visited classrooms to read to students.

The volunteer reading effort at Fremont Elementary was organized by a committee of teachers who came together to create several fun and engaging events to encourage students to gain, increase and appreciate their love for reading.

Nationally, an estimated 45 million educators, parents and students across the U.S. will participate in the observed reading day. This will be the 23 year, since 1997, the National Education Association has called on every community to enjoy the benefits of reading.

“The teachers at Fremont Elementary wanted their students to know that reading is powerful,” said Jennifer Ward-Dejoseph, principal at Fremont Elementary School. “Did you know that reading can provide you with experiences to take you out of this world? There are countless studies indicating the benefits of reading, but the biggest thing is children who read and write at school and at home — whether for assignments or just for fun — are building long-term study and executive function skills. These translate to confidence and essentially ‘stellar skills.”

While literacy activities have been associated with higher test scores, additional studies show these activities also provide students with tools for lifetime success, Ward-DeJoseph said. One in particular states that ten minutes of sustained silent reading does not subtract from instructional time; instead, this time offers significant opportunities for students’ language and literacy development. Another cited by reading 20 minutes a day, a student will read over 1,800,000 words per year.

Children who are good students tend to become good employees by being on time and putting forward their best work, she continued. All of the things that make a child a good student also makes them a good employee.

“Encouraging and helping develop a competent and contributing member of society is just ‘stellar,” she said.

Guest readers who visited or who will visit Fremont Elementary School this week (Feb. 24-28) included:

  • Archie, the mascot from the Reno Aces Baseball Club
  • Truckee, the mascot from the Reno 1868 FC Soccer Team
  • Nevada National Guard Members
  • Deanna from Bill and Deanna in the Morning on 96.5 FM
  • KOLO 8 News Anchors Josh Little and Rebecca Kitchen
  • KOLO 8 Meteorologist Jeff Thompson
  • Southwest Gas representatives
  • Carson City School Board Members
  • Carson City Mayor, Bob Crowell
  • United States Senator Catherine Cortez-Masto
  • Nevada Highway Patrol dispatchers
  • Carson City Sheriff Kenny Furlong
  • Carson City Fire Department representatives
  • Local dentist and healthcare professionals

The week-long reading focus included spirit days, mystery readers, a reading minute challenge, a door decorating contest, prizes, family engagement, and more. Each day provided alternate dress-code adjustments like dressing as their favorite book character, wearing space themed clothing, or coming in their best spirit attire and pajamas.

Teachers added some extra excitement to the week with Mystery Readers. Each day, students eagerly watched as a mystery staff member read a book or poem on a video. For those who listened carefully and were able to guess who’s voice they heard, earned a special prize.

Students were also given an opportunity to show off their own dedication to reading. Each night, they recorded the reading they did at home, and for each night of reading, they were entered into a raffle where they earned the best prize of all: new books! In addition, teachers counted and tallied up the total reading minutes that their students completed outside of school and recorded it on a large chart in the cafeteria for all to see. Publicly displaying their reading efforts not only boosted their confidence and pride, but it also came with a reward: duct taping the Ward-DeJoseph to a wall for 2.5 hours of lunch time!

Many teachers also invited parents to be guest readers in their classroom throughout the week. Parents were encouraged to come read to their child’s classroom in their native language. Lastly, students got to partner up with another grade level to act as reading buddies. Third graders got to read to kindergartners, for example. Older students got to act as role models and exemplify what good readers do.