PARISHVILLE - Twenty-four young students from Parishville-Hopkinton Central School participated in another year of Books... Then the Beach,a program focused on keeping students reading during the summer months.
School staff involved with the program told the Parishville-Hopkinton Central School Board of Education they were thrilled with the results.
The program used to be called Books at the Beach and coincided this year with the Parishville Town Beach program.
Elementary school teachers Jennifer Mason and Rebecca Rose were integral to the programs success. Ms. Mason was responsible for the first and second graders in the program, while Ms. Rose was working with the third and fourth grade students.
Our transition from the beach to the books was actually really good. We were nervous about it. Rose Rivezzi spent a great deal of time identifying students who could benefit from the summer reading program, Ms. Mason said. Ive been with the beach program I think for 15 years and as much as I love the program, we felt it needed to be a little bit more intensive. ... We couldnt have been more pleased. Ms. Rivezzi ended up inviting 12 first and second graders and 12 third and fourth graders.
The program ran for four weeks through July and lasted 18 days total, not including the final day celebration with the town beach program for a picnic day.
I couldnt have been more pleased and happy. The kids who have attended loved it. Becky and I just wanted to focus on reading. We read with partners, we did readers theater, Ms. Rivezzi bicycled in and did a whole spiel about the bicycle safety and Ms. Rose and I put together a little dog day, Ms. Mason said.
We tried to do something fun on Friday. We provided a snack for them every day. But the main objective of the program was just read, read, read. We exposed them to all different types of literature. Every day the kids went home with three or four books. So not only do I feel they were exposed to books in mine and Ms. Roses room; they went home with books every single day.
The children spent two hours each day at the program during its run.
It was such a success that Ms. Mason noted that the only complaint she received from parents at the conclusion of the four weeks was that it wasnt longer.
Ms. Rose was particularly impressed with the students improvement in vocabulary.
I think for grades three and four, a lot of it was reading but they were also immersed in vocabulary. When (Ms. Rivezzi) came in, she did all sorts of vocabulary that had to deal with the bicycle itself and being on the road with the safety, Ms. Rose said. Every day we had a vocabulary session with the kids on whatever topic or theme that we were doing for the day. The first week we did baseball and the kids seemed to really like that, but I was surprised at just the basic baseball words that even third and fourth graders didnt realize. So they grew every day.
Ms. Rose said that children who read for over 360 minutes were rewarded with Six Flags tickets that were left over from a reading program during the school year.
On the whole, elementary school Principal Brooke Reid explained that she felt the program could not have gone any better.
I really have to thank these two teachers because its not an easy thing to get kids to want to come through the school door in the middle of July and they did a great job, Ms. Reid. The kids would come in with smiles and really seemed to enjoy the activities that they had planned. I do think the purpose was to maintain their reading levels, and well be able to get a little bit of information on that when we start our testing in the next week or so.