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Teachers and staff in Washingtonville elementary schools find creative ways to keep students engaged with reading

Reading is a part of everyday life for students. Here are some ways Washingtonville Elementary Schools keep reading fun and engaging:

Principal Christine Williams reads to class.

Christine Williams, principal at Taft Elementary School, visited classrooms to read the book “The Energy Bus for Kids,” written by Jon Gordon. This story is about staying positive and overcoming any challenges. 

After Mrs. Williams read to Nicole Cervone’s fourth grade class, students jumped on the “energy bus.” The “energy bus” is part of the 10-step roadmap that author Jon Gordon shares in order to live your best life. They created their own vision and are now ready to fuel the ride with positive energy. Students decided that no “energy vampires” were allowed in the classroom. Students refer to bullies as “energy vampires.” 

“In my classroom, I try to find creative ways to help my students find their own connections to the books we read,” said Ms. Cervone. “I cannot give them a reason to feel connected to a book or a lesson that I am teaching. I can only give them the tools to find and create their own reason, or vision, to connect to their learning.”

Librarian creates a book walk by hanging story on wall.

Laura Martinez, a librarian at Taft Elementary School, created a book walk. “The Whole Hole Story,” written by Vivian McInerny is about a girl named Zia who often fills the hole in her pocket with frogs and other objects. As the hole gets bigger she begins to wonder what would happen if she fell right through it. 

This book is displayed, one page at a time on the wall outside the library. Students can read the book as they are walking through the hallway or with their teacher.

Principal Kristin Shaw reads to students.

Kristin Shaw, principal at Round Hill Elementary School, also visited classrooms to read. She chose a book about having courage. Courage is an important trait to have when making new friends or learning to ride a bike. 

After Mrs. Shaw read the book, she had an open discussion with students about the courage it takes to be a principal. Students asked her about the interview process and “getting to do whatever she wants since she’s in charge.” Mrs. Shaw assured them that's not always the case. 

Kerilee Berben, librarian at Round Hill Elementary School, read the latest book in the “Creepy Tales” series, “Creepy Crayon!” by Aaron Reynolds. Then, students had the opportunity to make their own creepy crayons. 

In Keith Saltz’s fourth grade class at Little Britain Elementary School students read “Out of the Flames” which is about the Triangle Factory fire in 1911. This week was Fire Prevention Week, so it was the perfect time to learn about this event. The class analyzed pictures of the fire and had questions regarding how fire departments manage industrial fires now. 

Then, Fire Inspector Tom Lucchesi, of the Vails Gate Fire Department, came in to compare and contrast the present time with 1911. He emphasized how that fire spearheaded several safety changes for our country.

Fire inspector speaks to students as they sit on curb.