Last week, KIPP DC Spring Academy held its annual Spring Literacy Night event for students and families. Families in attendance walked away with specific strategies and tips for encouraging reading at home, individual data on their student’s growth and progress this school year, and books for their at-home libraries.
Samantha Greenwald is an instructional literacy coach at KIPP DC Spring Academy and was heavily involved in organizing this year’s Spring Literacy Night. She explained how events like this function as significant community touch-points.
“It’s a time for students, families, and staff to connect with one another outside of the regular school day around a shared goal – helping our students grow as confident and enthusiastic readers. Our hope is that families leave empowered with tools to help them support their child’s reading growth at home. Teachers also benefit because events like these provide opportunities to build and strengthen relationships with students and families that can last throughout the year.”
After a pre-event reception, Donny Tiengtum, principal of KIPP DC Spring Academy, gathered the students in attendance for a read-aloud of the book Thank You, Mr. Falker, by Patricia Polacco. Families were then divided into seminars by grade level and given an individual folder that outlined important reading metrics relating to their student such as current reading level, sight word mastery, and progress on a literacy-specific blending learning program.
First and second-grade families then learned about the beginning of the year versus end of year reading expectations, the impact that reading “just right” leveled texts can have on students’ growth, and how best to help students increase their knowledge of high frequency words. Families then received materials to practice high frequency words, as well as a weekly reading log and stories for students to read at home.
Third and fourth-grade families also received a folder with information on how their student is progressing as a reader. With students in these grade levels reading higher-level texts, families were given strategies on how to best talk to their students about reading, such as asking about a character’s feelings and traits. Afterward, families were able to select books to take home with them.
“The love of reading is important to all of us at Spring Academy and something we talk about every day,” remarked Ms. Greenwald. “We want our students to feel confident as readers and know they have the power to seek information on any topic that intrigues them or attack any challenge in front of them.”
View more photos from Spring Literacy Night!