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Friday, May 8, 2015

Elementary School Challenges Students, Community to Keep Reading in Summer

As the school year comes to a close, one Mansfield ISD elementary school principal hopes an important activity her kids practice in the classroom will continue into the summer months.

So with students cheering, cheerleaders chanting, and teachers dancing, Janet Brockett Elementary School kicked off their 333 Reading Challenge with a school-wide pep rally.

Principal Tamara Liddell talking about the 333 Reading Challenge.
The challenge calls for families to sit down together and read for 30 minutes a day, three times a week. And after each reading session, everyone should share three things they learned from what they read.

Principal Tamara Liddell started the challenge two years ago at Brockett Elementary. She said it’s important to start early to plant that seed and develop a strong foundation for reading.

“When you learn to read, that is something that no one can take away from you,” said Liddell. “Reading brings experiences, understanding, and connections.”

One of the special guests at the summer reading pep rally was Jarius Pace. He’s a seventh grader who attended Brockett from kindergarten through fourth grade. He talked to the younger children about how reading has personally helped his academic career.

“I've gotten awards for reading,” said Pace. “It allowed me to understand things better, and I'm able to focus more."

Jarius Pace speaking to the elementary students.
Teachers and administrators at Brockett Elementary have come up with ways to keep summer reading interesting for the students. “Reading bingo cards” were created that include suggestions to read a book in an accent or read under the kitchen table.

“Camp days” have also been scheduled in the summer where students can come on campus and be read to aloud and receive free books.

Students who participate in the summer reading challenge will get to go on a field trip to the Winspear Opera House in Dallas on July 30.

Principal Liddell hopes the reading challenge will bring families together while instilling a joy for reading in her young students.

For those who can’t make it to a library, most public libraries offer e-book options. You can also check out Unite for Literacy and Children’s Library, which provide free online books.