Vernon PARP: 'Reading Builds Bridges'
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students are asked to read at least 15 minutes per day with their reading partner and keep a log of their progress.
PARP Committee Chair Ms. Karen Nobel, along with parent volunteers, brought the theme to life by decorating the school hallways with bridge-themed decorations and designing a menu of activities that incorporated science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills, as well as a daily focus on character traits, such as empathy and kindness.
The week kicked off with each class decorating their classroom door to depict the bridge-building theme and each student completing a trivia sheet on famous bridges, which underpinned the day’s theme, “Reading Builds Bridges to Knowledge.” On another day, the trait of empathy was the focus as students in different classes paired up for buddy reading and were asked to read about a person who lives in another part of the world or has challenges they never faced. On “Reading Builds Bridges to Kindness” day, student completed three acts of kindness.
Highlighting the event was a school-wide bridge-building challenge, based on the book, Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing, by April Jones Prince, which tells the true story of the 14-year construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. Students worked in groups to construct a weight-bearing bridge out of newspaper and test its strength by placing a “brick” on top of it. Grades 3 and 4 completed the challenge in their classrooms while grades 5 and 6 worked on the project in their library classes.
“We love how this year’s theme integrated reading, character and STEM as students explored science, technology, engineering and math through a variety of bridge-themed books,” said Principal Dr. Valerie Vacchio. “Our PTA did a fantastic job of integrating the theme throughout the building, within the classrooms and with home activities.”
In addition to the challenge, 3rd and 4th graders participated in read-ins with PARP committee members. The event ended with Vernon Pride day. Students wore school colors and celebrated World Read Aloud Day by sharing a book they love by reading it aloud to a sibling or a friend.
This campaign is one of many ways the PARP committee celebrates reading throughout the year. The committee also hosts assemblies, author visits, book sharing and more.
The PTA PARP Committee decorated the hallways with the "Reading Builds Bridges" theme.
Vernon School students hold some of the books they read during PARP week. Pictured with them are Vernon School Library teacher Ms. Erin Dubon and K-12 Supervisor of English Language Arts, Reading and Library Media Dr. Ryan O’Hara.
Above and below, classroom doors were decorated by each class to depict the bridge-building theme.
Parent volunteers assist students with the bridge-building challenge after reading about the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Students, above and below, participate in a school-wide bridge building activity.