Families learned about how to promote reading at home at Pecos Elementary School Wednesday night, as part of a Readers Raise the Roof! workshop being held at elementary schools throughout New Mexico.
Readers Raise the Roof! is a one and a half hour program put on by Workshops-in-a-Box, an education consultancy group contracted by the New Mexico Public Education Department.
“I think everyone had fun tonight,” said Pecos Elementary Principal Dr. Barbara Ryan.
The workshop was based around a house-building theme. As part of the workshop, about 130 parents and children donning yellow hardhats learned techniques to encourage children to read.
Angela Walker, developer of the Readers Raise the Roof! curriculum, emphasized that learning is gradual. She also performed phonics exercises with the students, encouraged them to read books that interested them and told them to imagine what they were reading in their minds.
“Good readers imagine in their brains what’s going on. What does it look like?” she said. “It’s like they’re making a movie in their heads.”
She kept the night fun by spraying the kids with silly string, playing tag with them, and leading them in chants:
“Readers raise the roof, the roof, the roof. Readers raise the roof!”
Dr. Ryan said Walker’s message of patience was one of the most important for parents.
“They have to realize that the little ones learn in little bites, little steps,” she said.
Administrators of the education department’s K-3 Plus program, which extends school years for up to two months for kindergarten through third grade students at select schools, attended the event.
“We’re here because we want to continue to support our families and we just want to cheer them on,” said K-3 Plus Manager Bernadette Maes.
Pecos Elementary third-grader Domanyk York, 8, and his friend, Anthony Bautista, 9, a fourth-grader at the school, both brought books to read during the activities.
York brought the book “Small Steps,” by Louis Sachar. York said he reads for 30 minutes every weekday and 60 minutes a day on Saturdays and Sundays. He said the event was “good.”
“My favorite part was going on stage and getting prizes and stuff,” he said.
A Readers Raise the Roof! workshop for teachers throughout the Roswell Independent School District was held Thursday morning. Fifty teachers were enrolled to attend.