Dear Friends and Readers,
We have this OUTSTANDING summer Front Desk Manager who happens to also be our AMAZING Education Director during the school year, a former teacher/professional tutor, and pretty much my hero. Each week, she takes a step back from the administrative miracles she works at our front desk to lead our Summer Reading Club.
The kids track how many minutes they each read. They practice their silly voices and read aloud to one another. Our kids have been loving every minute of it! One of the girls is currently crushing me in a “who can read more” competition.
Unfortunately, field trips and days of chaos and vacations and this little thing called Independence Day have all fallen on reading club days. In an effort to keep kids engaged in reading club, I lead a “bonus” meeting a few days ago.
Gasp! I know, right? I got to pause from supervising staff and debriefing timeouts and talking to parents and ducking out for 2 minutes at a time (on a good day) to check my email. I got to play!
To celebrate this momentous occasion, (and because we already had the books checked out from the library for reading club), we had Mo Willems Day, also known as Miss Brenda’s Favorite Children’s Author Day. But, Miss Brenda, I thought Mo Willems books were only for preschoolers? Not anymore. Our elementary angels were…
Here is what we did:
- I read the Pigeon books aloud to the kids. They reacted & spoke the other half of the conversation to get warmed up. Since the whole group did it, no one was put on the spot. The kids loved it.
- Kids then read the Elephant and Piggie books in partners. I held back the desire to give any tips ahead of time and just waited & watched. Some kids used funny voices. Some kids used dramatic pauses. Some kids read LARGE PRINT VERY LOUDLY and small print in barely a whisper. Some kids stuttered and struggled but stuck with it. They all did amazing!
- Then we moved on to individuals reading books of their own. They each chose from the Pigeon books or Elephant and Piggie books or Knuffle Bunny books. They did equally outstanding with their solo efforts.
- And then, at the end, because I am and will always be a social worker at heart, we took turns telling each member how great of a job they did. I asked each of them to say at least one nice thing about one other person. Each one of them wanted to say something nice about every other person. Awwwww… I held in my I-am-emotionally-spent-and-need-a-vacation/can’t-hold-in-my-emotions-when-kids-encourage-each-other tears until they left the room. Once they went to their next programs? *Cue Niagara.*