Schools find ways to keep all students reading

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Mar. 11—Knowing how to read can lead to greater success in almost every school subject, and area educators are often creative so students can learn to enjoy that pastime.

Grand View School recently joined many others across the country to celebrate Read Across America Week. The week kicked off with students and staff wearing their favorite hat in honor of "The Cat in the Hat" book.

"Classrooms and hallways were filled with red and white colors, crazy hair, and wacky clothes as the celebration continued throughout the week," said Glenda Sellers. "Teachers integrated fun, learning-based activities in honor of Dr. Seuss, including online read-alouds and active online links to explore and complete activities, keeping the virtual and traditional students engaged."

First-graders discussed authors and pen names and discovered Dr. Seuss' real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel.

"Students picked their favorite Dr. Seuss book and wrote about it. They really enjoyed all the activities we did," said Susie Moore, Grand View first-grade teacher.

Grand View Library Assistant Riley Timmons distributed three free books for each student as a part of the Innovative Approaches to Learning grant.

"The students were so happy to get the books," Timmons said. "And 1,240 books were given out schoolwide."

According to Superintendent Ed Kennedy, students at Grand View during this year have received a minimum of 13 books each — and some, by extra participation, have received more. These are new books; some are hardback but the majority are paperback.

Students who are attending schools virtually may not be able to get their hands on a variety of physical books.

All Tahlequah Public School students have access to Sora, an e-book collection and reading app. Currently, there are approximately 2,000 titles available, with new titles being added monthly.

"Because all students now have Chromebooks and wi-fi access, we have been able to add the Sora app from Overdrive to student Chromebooks," said Deborah Underwood, Tahlequah High School media specialist. "Students can use the app to check out e-books from the Tahlequah High School library or from the local public library. Many of the same books we have in print are also now available for students to check out as e-books."

Book fairs are usually a good source of reading materials for students, as well as revenue for schools. Due to the pandemic, a majority of the book fairs were only online this year.

DeAnn Mashburn, TPS executive director of secondary education, said that at the middle school, language arts teachers provided a link on Google Classroom that directed virtual students to the online book fair website.

"Students were also provided an instructional video on how to complete online purchases," said Mashburn. "There was a decline in revenue for the spring book fair, but it was expected with the virtual-only option."

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