École Davis Road Elementary held a celebration assembly this past Friday (Jan. 24) to bring the curtain down on a week of literacy-themed activities for the students.
The assembly saw a number of classes read literature out loud, featuring both French Immersion and English track groups, in front of a packed gym of parents and teachers.
Teacher-librarian Patrice Mauriks was the main co-ordinator for the event and the entire Family Literacy Week.
“Our two ongoing activities that carried into this week were the reading incentive program (Read-to-Win/Lisez-et-gagnez),” said Mauriks. “I did one for the primary students and one for the intermediate students. The primary one was really simple. They just had to read for 14 days, everyday, for 20 minutes. They then filled out a calendar and when they brought that back, that allowed them to get their name in the draw for the grand prizes.
“The intermediate students did a more complicated program where they were asked to read seven different books in seven different genres. Those who read seven got their name in the hat once, those who read 14 got their name in twice and 21 — three times. We’ve been doing that since the beginning of November.”
Notably, Mauriks has been holding and putting on the literacy week at Davis Road for the past three years.
The grand prizes were won by lucky students whose names were drawn out of the hat at the assembly, and included merchandise donated by Uforik Computers. The winners were Jaelyn Ripka, Brooklyn Puska, Axel Bouma, Abigail Hale, Ella Van Horne, Chiara Sedola, Jozie Lewis and Emma Craig.
The rest of the week’s activities included a book swap, visits from local fiction authors Kathy Beliveau and John Wilson, a “Guess the Famous Book Character” game where clues were read out over announcements each morning, as well as the D.E.A.R (Drop Everything and Read) program.
Students were also encouraged to dress up as their favourite book character for the assembly.
“Our book swap has been very successful,” said Mauriks. “We just put tables out and tell the students to bring books home. At recess, if they brought a book, they can take a book back. If they brought five, they can take five. It’s a cheap way of circulating books and getting kids excited about them.
“The D.E.A.R program involved buddy classes where we match primary classes with intermediate classes and they all come together to read together,” she added. “It’s a really neat activity.”
Every student in the school will also receive a book for free.
Mauriks believes literacy skills to be of the utmost importance in elementary school education.
“It’s really fundamental and we’re all about reading and writing. To have an event like this gives us the opportunity to highlight what literacy is and various ways the children can be literate,” she explained. “Being literate isn’t just reading. It’s being able to communicate either by the way of writing or social media. It’s about getting kids excited about books and talking about book genres. It gets them communicating with each other and not just the teachers.”