Education column: Summer reading program successful

Although teachers officially return next week, many have been trickling in, preparing for the new school year. Chatting with principals, already back in the saddle, and many of the teachers I've encountered, there's been great interest in the outcome of our Summer Reading Program, which is just winding down. Having also encountered numerous parents during the summer, they also talked about the Summer Reading Program. It's been gratifying to hear about the positive impact the program has had.

To briefly recap the CMS Summer Reading Program basics; a summer reading log was sent home with students on the last day of school to record details of the books read during the summer. Students could then turn in their reading log(s) at CMS Central Office in exchange for a "treat" coupon donated by a number of local businesses. Kids would then take another reading log to continue. All logs will shortly be distributed to the teachers at the schools the students attend, so students' new teachers will be aware of what they have read during the summer.

The overarching program goal — initiated through the efforts of Terry Myers (superintendent); Cindy Martin (deputy superintendent of instruction); and Carrie Nigreville (IRC/EPSS coordinator) — was to have as many kids reading as many books as possible during the summer months, and in the process, encourage parent involvement.

Stephanie Mobley from our Instructional Resource Center (IRC) at central office, has been facilitating the program and shared details. The program ran from June 4 to today, and some interesting results have been noted.

"We have had logs turned in from students from every one of our elementary schools. Many kids have gone through multiple logs, and one little boy shared, 'I love to read, so I get extra logs so I can read as much as I want to! I also read to my little sister, who's only two years old, and I share my treats with her.'"

The program seems to have flowed smoothly, and a number of avid little readers have become regular visitors at central office. I have bumped into some of these little readers and their parents at various locales during the summer months. Several parents shared with me that although they do believe it's important to read to/with their children, things frequently get in the way. During this summer, however, kids have been adamant about reading, parents laughingly shared.

I happened to bump into one of our teachers from Parkview Elementary, Jana Vetterly, at a local eatery recently, accompanied by her daughters. Her older daughter, Erynn, spontaneously began telling me about the books she'd been reading. Checking later with Mobley's spreadsheet records, I learned we, in fact, had a record-holder reader that should be acknowledged.

Congratulations to soon-to-be second grader, Erynn Vetterly, daughter of Parkview teacher, Jana Vetterly and Sandia principal, Matthew Vetterly. As of this writing, Erynn has read 128 books over the summer. Way to go, Erynn! Look out, second grade.

Cindy Kleyn-Kennedy is the instructional technology coordinator for the Clovis Municipal Schools and can be reached at cindy.kleyn-kennedy@clovis-schools.org

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