By, Alan Jensen-Sellers
Parents and children were at the Pottstown Middle
School last night at 6pm, and sports had nothing to do with it! It
was Family Literacy Night, a free program presented by the Pottstown
School District to teach parents the tools they need to help their
children learn and improve literacy skills outside the classroom.
Open to children from preschoolers (age 4) through 1st
grade and their parents/guardians, it is a series of six sessions, each
focusing on an aspect of literacy learning. You can join at any time,
while the sessions build on each other, they can also be learned as
The main part of the program is based on the TeachMe To Read At Home System (http://www.sbsl.org/)
produced by Step by Step Learning.
The teachers gave out classroom materials that outline this learning theory.
The 1st gradeportion of the Family Literacy Night was developed
entirely by Pottstown School District Teachers. The first part of the program
begins with the kids going off to another room to do some fun activities,
while the parents separate into several groups. This portion of the
course is geared towards explaining the concepts and implementation
to the parents; along with some demonstrations of materials the
teacher had found to be particularly helpful. (Did you know pipe
cleaners are now referred to as chenille sticks?)
The children rejoined their parents in the second
half of the event, which was a practical demonstration of the
activities that were discussed. This also afforded an opportunity
for parents to see how the students might be handled in a classroom
Our group was taught by Mrs. Treena Ferguson, who teaches kindergarten at Edgewood Elementary. After the class portion was done we all
adjourned to the cafeteria for snacks and the door prize raffle.
There were books on all the tables which children could take home.
Door prizes included gift certificates for local restaurants,
fitness centers and stores for the adults, and books and book bags
for the children.
This program is supported by Step By Step Learning, who provide most of the educational materials. Other costs are covered by donations from local business, and fundraising activities.
The teachers and staff volunteer their time because of their dedication to education at PSD.
Some of the Pottstown School District administrative employees that were present were Assistant Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Sparagana , and Barth Elementary School Principal Mr. Ryan Oxenford. What a great opportunity for our local children, to be shown that education can be fun and interactive!
Active parental involvement and communication with teachers is a major indicator of whether students will have a successful educational career! The next class is scheduled for October 25th. Registration opens at 5:30pm. For further information check out the PSD website! http://www.pottstownschools.com