We are excited to announce that this month, we will hold our traditional PARP Reading Tracking from Friday, May 14th through Friday May 28th. All readers in grades K-5 will track their weekly reading minutes, which will be combined with their classmates’ minutes. This year, we will be tallying reading minutes via Google Forms. Parents will be emailed a Google Form link on Monday, May 17th and Monday, May 24th. Forms should be completed on Friday, May 21st and Friday, May 28th so that the child’s reading minutes can be added to their grade’s weekly total. Please be sure to fill out a separate form for each child.
The goal of tracking reading minutes is two-fold. First, minute tracking provides readers an opportunity to mindfully dedicate time each day for reading, no matter the reader’s abilities or preferences. Secondly, minute tracking enables readers to set personal goals and engage in some friendly competition. We suggest that students aim to read for 20 minutes per day, but the students are encouraged to set their own goals to meet their needs and abilities. This year, the PARP committee is challenging our K-5 readers to surpass last year’s total of 800,000 minutes read! It’s a big goal, but we know Garden City students enjoy a challenge!
This year, as an incentive for students to complete their daily PARP reading and tracking, the building principals have joined us to offer a special spirit day reward for all K-5 students: Comfy Cozy/Pajama Day!
Lastly, because PARP is partly about choosing a reading partner, we encourage students to try reading to a parent or sibling, stuffed animal or pet, or even a family member over Facetime or Zoom! Although books are awesome, feel free to read magazines, newspapers, encyclopedias, recipes, directions, etc. Most importantly, have fun!
During these unprecedented times, all of our community members, whether adults or children, have been working through the emotional challenges that a global pandemic can create. May is Mental Health Awareness Month and as we all work to continue to find a sense of balance, the PTA wanted to provide the space and opportunity for a moment of pause and peace.
Please join us for a virtual read aloud, on Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 7 pm. It will be hosted by the Legislation and PARP Committees, as we welcome our special reader, Ms. Michelle Vincent, both Stratford and Stewart Schools’ wonderful social worker. She will be reading the book, How Big Are Your Worries, Little Bear? by Jayneen Sanders and walking us through a few practices to help us all manage our worries. Please click below to register for this event.
We hope you can join us as we enjoy a lovely read aloud and also learn a trick or two to cope with any worries we may find we have, whether big or small.
Someday, we’ll find it…
“The Reading Connection:
The Readers, The Dreamers, and Me”
Our year-long PARP (Pick A Reading Partner) program, The Reading Connection: The Readers, the Dreamers, and Me will conclude this month with three exciting events:
In celebration of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, PARP and the PTA Legislation Committee will co-host a virtual read-aloud of the book “How Big Are Your Worries Little Bear” on Thursday May 6th at 7 PM with Ms. Michelle Vincent, school social worker at Stewart and Stratford Schools. The event is open to all students in grades K-5. Zoom registration information is available on the PARP website. After the presentation, Ms. Vincent will do a brief craft activity with the children. We hope you can join us for this calming event!
Throughout the month of May, all students in grades K-5 are invited to participate in our PARP Book Club! The Book Club selection for primary students and their reading partners is “The Story of Ferdinand,” and for elementary students it is “Stuart Little.” Both books have well-loved companion movies, which the children are encouraged to watch after finishing their book. All participants will be invited to share their responses to their book and movie on Flip Grid. Stay tuned for more information!
Finally, from Friday May 14th through Friday May 28th, we will hold our traditional PARP Reading Tracking! All readers in grades K-5 will track their weekly reading minutes, which will be combined with their classmates’ minutes. This year, we will be tallying reading minutes via Google Forms. Parents will be emailed a Google Form link at the beginning of the week and forms should be completed each Friday so that the child’s reading minutes can be added to their grade’s weekly total. Our district-wide goal is to surpass last year’s total of 800,000 minutes read! At the end of the tracking period there will be a special reward at each school to celebrate our reading successes this year!
Many thanks to Susanne and Timothy Hale, authors of "Molly & Magruder Return to New York" for a great PARP virtual visit this past Thursday evening on April 8th.
Molly & Magruder is the story of two blackbirds who return to New York City after the pandemic. As they visit their favorite places and look for familiar faces, they realize that a lot has changed in the city since they left, but they soon find signs of hope that New York and its people are coming back to life. This book, a hopeful tribute to New York City after a year of unprecedented change, is the perfect finale to our PARP Virtual Author Visit Series!
Pajama Literacy Night is a favorite PARP tradition that our primary students look forward to each year. In the past, K-1 students and their parents/guardians were invited to gather at the Middle School to play literacy games and listen to stories read by some of their favorite primary teachers- all while wearing their pajamas! This year, we have reimagined Pajama Literacy Night to be an at-home family event. On Tuesday, March 16th, students in all grades are invited to participate in PARP At-home Pajama Literacy Night. It will be considered a district-wide Family Connect Night, and no homework will be assigned on this night!
Below are ideas and resources that you can incorporate into your Pajama Literacy Night. Classic board games, such as Scrabble, Boggle, and Bananagrams, are great, or choose any game that your family enjoys. Many early childhood board games encourage literacy through reading and following directions, sequencing, and cause and effect. If you want to try something new, we’ve also included printable resources and ideas for virtual literacy activities.
So put on your coziest pajamas, play a favorite game or try something new, and take some time to read a poem or story aloud. Most importantly, HAVE FUN together! It’s going to be a great night!
These are just a few examples of great board games that focus on fun and literacy. You can play in teams or modify the rules for a wide range of ages and abilities.
Listening to the spoken word is another way to celebrate literacy. Take a look at the provided poems below and read them out loud. You can also take turns reciting the verses. Facetime a friend or family member to connect with someone who might enjoy hearing something different, in the form of poetry. What do you like about them? What made you smile?
We usually end our Pajama Literacy Nights with a read aloud, between students and their grownups. Please feel free to end your night with the same! Choose a favorite book or something new. If you would like to try something new, head to https://www.storylineonline.net and take a listen to some wonderful stories there. Hear Chris O’Dowd read the fan-favorite, "Arnie the Doughnut" or Oprah Winfrey read "The Hula-Hoopin’ Queen".
Thank you to all students in grades K-5 who opted to participate in our first ever PARP Pen Pals program. We had over 270 participants and kept our neighborhood mail carriers very busy! Students were matched to pen pals in the same grade from different Garden City schools and “connected” by writing and sending handwritten letters to one another. We heard from many students and their families that they truly enjoyed writing to and receiving a letter from a new friend in the mail.
Many thanks to @joshfunkbooks for a laugh-filled night of appreciation for Dear Dragon, writing, reading and unique pet cats. PARP was so glad we could have you “visit”! Take a read of Josh’s other great books!
This month, all classroom and cohort teachers will read our One School, One Book selection, “Dear Dragon,” by Josh Funk to their classes. After listening to the story, students are encouraged to participate in our “Dear Dragon” discussion on Flip Grid and have fun recording their responses to the text. Click here for Flip Grid link.
Many thanks to Ms. Barbara, Ms. Donna and Ms. Kristen for their time and expertise in sharing new books and library resources with our PARP GCPL Nights! Check out our great public library!
Many thanks to GC’s own Angela de Caprariis-Salerno, author of "Peter and the Blitz" for a great virtual read aloud this past Wednesday evening as PARP continues!
“Peter and the Blitz” is a historical fiction novel set in England during World War II. The book explores the struggles of a teenage boy during the Nazi bombardment of his country. Praised as “meticulously correct” with historic detail, older students will connect with the way de Caprariis-Salerno “captures the spirit of the time and place in a way which is both engaging and appropriate.”
PARP’s 2020 kick-off event, a virtual read aloud with GC’s own, Tara McCarton took place on Thursday and it was a success! Over 140 Garden City families logged on to hear McCarton’s The Wish, and to ask both Tara, and GC illustrator, Allison Lagueux, about the book, its characters and pictures. To purchase a copy of The Wish, or to connect with Tara, feel free to do so on Facebook, or Instagram @taratkts. For Audrey's progress: http://www.audreymccarton.com. Many thanks to both Tara and Allison for a wonderful evening of celebrating reading!
PARP is a National PTA program designed to foster the love of reading. The primary goal of PARP is to promote childhood literacy by asking parents or caregivers to set aside time each day to read with their child. PARP encourages programs during the school year that supports reading and participation of children, caregivers, teachers, administrators, school staff and the community by reinforcing the pursuit of reading for enjoyment.
The committee works closely with building administrators and teachers in our K-5 schools. This Committee has Committee Chairperson(s) and School Building Representatives.
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