Parents, children join to build a love of reading
Once every fall, kindergarten students at Paperjack, Hillside and Starr elementary schools are able to invite their parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents or siblings to join them for breakfast and some reading as part of the Books and Breakfast program.
“The school has been doing this program since I have been here, 10 years,” Paperjack Elementary School kindergarten teacher Shannon Averill said. “All three schools have a Books and Breakfast in the fall. We started this program to have parents come in and read with their child. It now is that the child can read some books to the parents and the parents read some to them.”
Even though most children bring in a parent to read with and to them during the Books and Breakfast event, it is not limited to just parents.
“Parents are invited to come in, but sometimes grandparents, aunts, uncles or younger or older siblings are welcome too,” Averill said.
The reading session happens just one time every November when the students are learning about families in their kindergarten class. Even though the event happens just once a year, almost every student has someone to read with during Books and Breakfast.
“The turnout is usually great with maybe only two to three students without someone,” Averill said. “If that happens, we pair them up with a friend in the class that has a parent. They eat breakfast and take turns reading with that parent. Everyone seems to enjoy the program.”
During the reading time, children are able to pick out a book to read to the adult they brought with them and one for the adult to read back to them.
“We have books and poems that we do in the classroom for the children to read and the children pick out books for their parents to read to them,” Averill said. “They have their own book basket to share with their parents.”
Books and Breakfast goes from 8:45 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on the selected day in November and it is one of the many things that students look forward to the most every fall.
“The children love reading to the parents. We write thank you notes after we are done,” Averill said. “We talk about their favorite part of Books and Breakfast and most say reading with mom or dad. That is what I want to happen.”
As much as the students love Books and Breakfast day, according to Averill, the adults who come to visit might like it even more because of the way it allows the kids to show off their reading talents.
“Parents have told me they are amazed at their child's reading ability with just a few months of school,” Averill said. “It is very nice to have the children show off their ability to parents. Lots of laughs, smiles and book talk happening at Books and Breakfast.”