Our students come to school wanting to be able to read. As the earliest readers in the district they get off of their 4 buses excited to learn and eager to get inside. They are now greeted by books in the hallways and cafeteria as part of our culture change of the school.
We want all students and families to read and through Operation BEAR (Books Everywhere Always Reading) we hope to accomplish just this.
When the students arrive in the morning in 1st and 2nd grade they are greeted with Bookshelves in the hallway to encourage reading. Finishing lunch early grab a book from the shelf and read. We are changing our culture of our school encouraging Reading Everywhere and Always with Books. The community is composed of two distinct areas and our goal is to have reading available for all not just our students. We want to encourage reading by parents, grandparents, friends and students. The idea is simple grab a book, give it a read and then return it to the library for others to enjoy.
Classic Caldecott Medal Picture Books are an important addition to change our Reading Culture as not only a school but that of a community. Books that are awarded with the Caldecott Medal are selected because of their visual appeal to children. As our students are learning to read the strategy of using the picture for clues with the words is used. Using award winning picture books helps not only with visual appeal but language acquisition and beginning reading skills.
The goal of the project is to increase the love of reading among all community members through the addition of Community Libraries housed in both Highland Falls and Fort Montgomery.
Having a location of books available for all will begin with the youngest readers who have been exposed to Operation Read at school. We have begun the change with books in the hallways at arrival and available in the cafeteria after eating lunch. This is not ENOUGH. We need to have books available in both The Town and Village for ALL students to benefit from the program. Creating a new community library that is free to the students will allow them to pick up a book to read while at the laundromat or retrieving their mail from the Post Office and then return when they go shopping later in the week with their parents. The main goal is to have books available for all community members. With the community libraries they will be marked and can be returned to any of the community libraries that will be set up for students to borrow from.
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