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Family Literacy Night at Oakwood Elementary

November 21, 2012 - Brandon Twp.- It's all fun and games— until someone learns to read.

Then it's all fun and games and more fun.

On Nov. 13, during Family Literacy Night at Oakwood Elementary School, kindergarten students in Amy Poole's and Toni Schlaire's classrooms were all smiles as they played games and read books with their parents. Some siblings joined in, too.

"I figured this would be a good learning experience for all of us," said Ashley Schweitzer as she played a consonant game with sons Michael, 5, and Emmett, 2. "We read all the time at home. I love to read myself and I hope that will carry on."

Schlaire and Poole, who host family literacy night courtesy of Title I funding, are hoping the guidance, as well as supplies and games given to take home for extra support are successful in helping all their students learn to love reading.

"It's really important to bring families into the school and show them what we're doing," said Schlaire. "We're very passionate about literature and we're trying to make it fun."

Kindergarteners are expected to be reading and writing at the end of the school year. The best way to make that happen, Schlaire said, is to practice and make it fun for each individual child by playing to their interests and choosing their books accordingly to make reading exciting.

Poole enjoyed watching the families in her classroom play and read together.

In a Powerpoint presentation just for parents, Poole and Schlaire offered eight principles of literacy learning, including the importance of children: understanding the purposes of literacy so they can fully appreciate and enjoy literature in their lives; hearing written language to learn its structure and take in new information and ideas; becoming aware of the sounds of language; and having many experiences working with written symbols to they clearn how to look at letters and use the information to read and write.

Reading together, writing together, songs and poems, visits to the library and bookstores, magnetic letter work, and interactive literacy computer games are some ways parents can help their children love to read.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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