Schools participating in annual one book, one district initiative

Ponca City Now - October 1, 2015 11:12 am

All seven Ponca City elementary schools will kick off the district’s annual One Book, One District reading initiative on Oct. 19.

This is a communitywide book club which promotes literacy. The fall selection is titled " The World According to Humphrey" by Betty G. Birney.

Parents will be challenged to read this book at home with their children between Oct. 19 and Nov. 6.

Everyone in Ponca City, including teachers, business owners, church members, grandparents, and community members are invited to join the elementary schools in reading this great book. We can all reap the benefits which include: building the family, promoting literacy, community collaboration and spirit.

Reading at home is valuable, because it better prepares children to be successful readers, and it promotes the love and pure joy of reading. It is also a fun and worthwhile family activity.

During the three designated weeks, the Ponca City School District encourages families to shut off their television sets and spend time together as a family reading.

Each family will receive a copy of " The World According to Humphrey" during a school-wide assembly, which will introduce the program and the book. When the book comes home, parents will also receive a tailored reading schedule so they can keep up at home. A chapter will be read each night, which will require a 15- to 20-minute time commitment each evening.

In school, students will be invited to answer comprehension questions based on the chapter read from the night before. Students will take pride in knowing and anticipating the details of the story.

In class, teachers will incorporate various activities that explore the book throughout the month. Parents will want to make sure their family keeps up so their children can be included in the rich discussions that will take place each day at school. Throughout the reading of the book, everyone will be talking about " The World According to Humphrey!"

One Book, One District is a unique program that promotes literacy, parental involvement, the love of reading, higher level thinking, book discussions, and quality family time.

Reading professionals recommend reading material aloud that is beyond a child’s own reading level routinely.

Ponca City School Associate Director of Elementary Curriculum, Teri Vogele, said, “Reading aloud to children promotes growth in comprehension and fluency. We hope that the One Book, One District initiative will enlighten parents to the benefits of reading aloud chapter books to their children at home as a continued family habit. Look for banners posted at each site to remind patrons of this initiative.

“I challenge families and community members of the Ponca City School District to join us for this worthwhile initiative! When the whole district reads a book, there’s a lot to talk about. With the help of our families and community members, we can build a community of readers in Ponca City and prepare our students to be productive citizens in a global society. I have listed 10 tips for reading aloud below,” Vogele said.

10 Tips for Reading Aloud

  1. How to choose a book – Your child’s tastes and interests are a good starting point. If you are enthusiastic about the story, your child is more likely to be, too. Read the text with enthusiasm and inflection.
  2. How to Make the Time – If reading aloud is important, you must prioritize. Sometimes this mean doing something else (the dishes or watching T.V.) later; sometimes it means not doing something else (Monday Night Football); and sometimes it means making something boring – say waiting in the doctor’s office – interesting.
  3. Punch Vocabulary – Make the language in a story more interesting for both you and your child by choosing the most interesting word in each sentence, and doing something more with it; emphasize it, enunciate it, whisper it, elongate it – bring it to light and discuss it. Ask your child to infer what it means.
  4. Pause – One of the three tips that help re-set your child’s attention span and can be used to heighten drama or suspense or emotional impact. In this case, pay special attention to every mark of punctuation – every comma and period, hyphen and parentheses. One word sentences are written that way for a reason.
  5. Slow Down – Also re-sets attention span; and heightens drama, suspense, and emotion: but not the same as pausing; slowing down means adjusting the pace of a sentence; or a paragraph; your listener will notice immediately.
  6. Whisper – Everyone knows the whisper effect: when you want to make someone pay even closer attention; so this one also re-sets attention span; heightens drama and suspense and – especially together with these three tips – pause, slow down, whisper — represent the pure heart of effective read aloud.
  7. Accents and Voices – Borrow shamelessly from everywhere to mimic different voices. Kids don’t care how perfect they are, only that the voices in the dialogue are distinct, bringing the characters alive.
  8. Ask Questions – Use the opportunity reading a book gives you to ask questions before, during, and after a reading to serve multiple purposes; rehearse or remember characters or plot developments; explore moral or ethical questions; and make associations with other books and media – film and otherwise. Be careful to keep focus on enjoyment of the story – sprinkle questions rather than pepper them.
  9. Give Them a Quiz – Not to make reading like school, but as memory cues. Kids love showing off their knowledge and having a reason to pay even closer attention, owning a book or story thoroughly and in detail. Pretty soon, they’ll be asking you questions.
  10. Permit an Auxiliary Activity – Kids will get distracted – for good reason; because they’ve made an association and are pursuing it. When pausing and whispering and slowing down aren’t enough, it’s okay to let them color, draw or doodle – or braid their hair or wash the dishes- to let their restless minds re-focus on the story.

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