James Neaton: ‘Passport to Reading’ under way in Moffat County

Consider a few of the new state standards that your fourth and fifth grade child will be expected to know: U.S. History will learn the development of political, social, and economic institutions in the British American colonies. They will examine how important American documents have shaped uniquely held American beliefs and values. Science will examine, evaluate, question, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media to investigate questions about characteristics of living things.

Are you struggling to come up with some answers to these standards? Rest assured, the bar has been raised on our children far and above what was expected of you and I during our free and easy (for most of us) elementary years. In order to develop a deep understanding of these new standards students will depend on their ability to read, reflect on what they’ve read, and develop meaningful responses.

For this reason “Passport to Reading” was started this fall for all fourth and fifth grade students. With the hard work and help of the fourth and fifth grade teachers, literacy coordinators, and librarians this program will enhance and develop the reading skills of our children. Students were issued a “Passport” in September that lists a variety of genres and categories of reading that match specific portions of the Colorado State Standards. When they read books during their literacy time, free time, or at home, and then complete a test or other project that demonstrate an understanding of the book they will receive a stamp. Students that earn a minimum of 20 stamps in their Passport over the course of the school year will attend a BBQ celebration in May. This year’s Grand Champion reader will be awarded an ipod touch!

All 4th and 5th grade students are also engaged in a book reading drive. The goal is to read 6,300 books by the end of the school year. If the students reach that goal $4,000.00 of grant money from Craig Rotary and Friends of Moffat County Education will be used to enhance and improve the collections of our elementary school libraries with current and attractive books.

“Passport to Reading” introduces students to different genres and types of reading materials to help create and maintain a wide range of reading interests. In a larger sense, we are promoting and kick-starting an intellectual curiosity in our students that yearns for and seeks out knowledge and ideas. The “can do” American Spirit of innovation and creativity is dependent on this intellectual curiosity which “Passport to Reading” will promote.

Please encourage and ask your fourth and fifth grade child about “Passport to Reading.” Ask them how many stamps they have in their passport. Discuss with your child what they are reading. Finally, carve out some time in your busy schedule for your own reading. Your kids will know it is important if they see you reading. If you have any questions, please contact me at: james.neton@moffatsd.org or 826-6608.

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