by Patricia Lynch, Primary Division Director
Dear Blue School Families,
Summer is upon us and the following reading list will hopefully travel with you as you visit seashore, mountains, relatives. Speaking of relatives and vacations, one of my all time favorite stories to read aloud to children is Cynthia Rylant’s, When the Relatives Came. The story is a whimsical recount of relatives who arrive on vacation and fill up a house with lots of noise and even more love. It’s definitely worth a trip to the library.
As you all know, Blue School children love to read. Visitors to Blue School are always impressed with the children’s ability to discuss the books they’ve read and proclaim their favorite authors. As many of you noted after the Blue School Reads classroom discussions this year, reading builds community, and I believe we are on our way toward a strong, thoughtful reading culture at Blue School. How wonderful to continue the book talks next year and begin to stretch the conversations across grades and into other divisions. Although we educators love to take credit for success, we also honor the support that is obviously coming from the homes. Thank you.
When parents ask me how they can help their child with reading, my advice is always the same. Read to your child. No matter what the age. Read newspaper articles, food ingredients, great novels you enjoyed as a child and historical accounts. Research has shown that children who are read to fare far better in the long run with reading comprehension and critical thinking. So it’s certainly worth the enjoyment.
For our Primary Division summer read, we have chosen, Faith Ringgold’s masterful classic, Tar Beach. I suspect that many of our current parents read the book as children as it was first published in 1991. It tells of a young child’s imaginary summer flight above New York City, and more specifically over the George Washington Bridge. At the beginning of the school year, the children’s teachers will have an activity connected to the book.
Don’t forget to keep the writing going over the summer as well. Photo journals, maps of trips, diaries, memoirs, all that wonderful stuff that children really want to remember and share. And for the younger children, let’s all remember that pictures are the first attempt at writing.
Please help your children keep a list of the books they read so they might share the list on the first day of school. The lists will be useful for children seeking reading suggestions. Make those lists fancy! We’ll display them all over the school.
“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.”
Happy reading, Pat