On a recent morning, Bodden Town Primary students were very excited to find out how Silly Sally got to dance a jig with a pig, to learn all about a mouse named Meg and to find out how spilled milk changes into a rabbit.
On Tuesday, April 12, the school launched its Home Reading Program, marking the first day for students to take books home. The program benefitted from a huge boost from Rotary Sunrise, which donated more than 1,600 Scholastic books to the literacy initiative.
Rotary Sunrise literacy director Su Mander said, thanks to the program, which supplies a variety of books suitable for different reading levels, students will now have the opportunity to engage in daily reading at home, to support their literacy skills and foster a love for reading.
She said the 1,600 books were enough to start the small library, with all the books sorted according to level into different plastic bins, so that with their teachers’ help, students are easily able to head to the right bin and select a book.
Students get to pick their own books, which are small, short and colorful.
During Tuesday’s morning assembly, students expressed their appreciation for the books. Anticipation was high as the students waited to visit the library to browse and select a book to take home for the very first time.
“I am excited. Today Bodden Town Primary launched its Home Reading Program,” said Year 6 student Jenique Anderson during the morning assembly.
Anay Rivers, also a Year 6 student, said reading was one of her favorite leisure activities, but until now she hardly had any books at home.
Now things are about to change.
“I can’t wait to dive into those book from the comfort of my home,” said Kalie Henry.
At the assembly, students also watched a video about the importance of reading every day.
Kimberly Watler-Litrico, the school’s deputy principal, thanked Rotary Sunrise for sponsoring the program.
Students will be able to borrow books from the library from Monday to Thursday, but no books will go home at the weekends or holidays.
“We don’t have a librarian at the moment but the school does have a volunteer librarian, Cheryl-Ann Edwards,” said Ms. Watler-Litrico.
“Ms. Edwards participates in classes with the juniors and helps to check books in and out of the library.”
Ms. Mander explained the level reading program, as it is known, was a project that was started in East End Primary School last September by sponsors Genesis Trust and Corporate Services. Rotary Sunrise is sponsoring the Bodden Town reading club.
“The reading books are at various levels so that students can read the books on their own or with a family member at a level that is suitable for them,” said Ms. Mander.
“The point of having level reading books is that it gives the child confidence if they are reading it and can read it well. They start at a lower level and then go all the way up,” she added.
Ms. Mander encourages family members to read with the children taking part because research shows parental involvement or family involvement in literacy is essential to help build a child’s confidence.
“Help them read, speak and communicate better – the key is, literacy starts at home,” she said.
Rotary was able to purchase all the books and other items for the program with a district grant, and assistance from Rotary Sunrise literacy member, Faye Lippitt.
As for bringing the program to more schools, Ms. Mander said considerations included finding corporate sponsors and the size of the school.
Along with Ms. Mander, Rotary President Christine Matthews, Ministry of Education chief officer Christen Suckoo, the ministry’s literacy specialist Brad Wilson and other Rotary Sunrise representatives also attended the event.