Goodyear holds Literacy Week

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Dayville - posted Mon., Mar. 7, 2011
Teaching assistant Scott Stevens, as Superman, and teacher Melissa Reed, as Princess, with their class of characters. Photos by D. Coffey
Teaching assistant Scott Stevens, as Superman, and teacher Melissa Reed, as Princess, with their class of characters. Photos by D. Coffey

Princesses and super heroes crowded the hallways of the Goodyear Early Childhood Center in Dayville, as the school celebrated Literacy Week last week. The school nurse was dressed as Thing 1, a teacher was dressed as a pirate, and even Superman and Pippi Longstocking made appearances. Director Lynda Fosco, dressed as the character Corduroy in suspenders and dog ears, explained the importance of the week for the children.

We celebrate literacy every day,” she said, “but this week, with Dr. Seuss’s birthday, we emphasize the joy of reading. We want the kids to understand that books tell a story and that they can tell their own stories.” Dressing as characters in a book helps them to make the connection between them and the story, she said. It aids the child’s comprehension. “When you are able to make the connection between what you know, and what you’re reading, and what questions the teacher is asking, you have a broader frame of reference,” she said.

The kids absolutely loved it. Disney heroines Ariel and Belle were there, as was Ironman, Emily Elizabeth, Spiderman, the lion king, and a lady bug. “By focusing on a character that they can relate to, even if she’s a princess or a super hero, it’s still a character whose presence you can understand, Fosco said. Dressing as characters makes the teachers’ job easier as well. When you’re teaching the elements of the story, what a character is and what an author and illustrator do to bring that book to life, it helps kids to use their own language to articulate the story. It helps them to understand that they can learn a lot from books.

Melissa Reed held a pack of literacy cards for her students. On each card was a question she would ask her students as they read. Where does the story take place? Who are the main characters? How does the story end? For 3- and 4-year-olds, these are pretty sophisticated questions. Reed, who came dressed as a princess, stressed how important it was for kids to learn how to rhyme. “It has a lot to do with phonics and learning sounds, and learning chunks of words. We work a lot with letter sounds in here, especially beginning letter sounds, and basic word families, because it is so important.”

Parents were also involved in the activities. They helped the kids get into their characters. They came in and read to the students. They had the students do certain activities with the reading they presented. “They all did a great job,” Fosco said. “It was great for the parents to be able to take the time and join us.”


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