The Indianapolis Public Library generously handed out free library cards to students in Perry Township and across Marion County. During a distribution ceremony at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, Library representatives began passing out 14,697 cards for students in grades one through twelve. Of those recipients, 10,557 students were new cardholders.
Because reading opens new worlds filled with thrills and surprises, the ceremony was designed with fanfare to match. Cheerleaders from Perry Meridian High, adorned with spirit wear, joined the festivities and surprised students as they received their library cards. The cards include online access to eBooks, eAudiobooks, streaming music and video, and more than 80 research databases for learning or leisure. Library staff even plans to train teachers to use the databases properly to ensure students maximize the features once school resumes.
The sooner that students can build confidence in reading, the sooner they can build confidence in their other courses. Little readers at Jeremiah Gray Kindergarten Academy (JGKA) are thriving thanks to a valuable partnership with the M.A. Rooney Foundation, which is a nonprofit committed to ensuring that students in K-2 are reading at grade level. The K-2 threshold is critical because many experts believe that a student’s reading level in third grade provides a strong indication of future success in the classroom and in society. According to a number of studies, students who read proficiently by the time they have finished third grade keep pace with peers or excel in later school years.
At JGKA, the M.A. Rooney Foundation provides school-wide training of all teachers and instructional aides at no cost. Twice each month, the Foundation provides ongoing support for free. They have even co-taught with teachers and provided feedback. The Foundation uses a method known as the Orton-Gillingham multisensory phonetic teaching approach. Their efforts have proven effective with 91 percent of JGKA students reaching proficiency or above in the Dibels Composite assessment, a measure of early literacy skills.
Even in summer months when children are home, literacy experts still recommend 15 to 20 minutes of reading each day for beginners. Other reading recommendations still stand, as well:
• Read every day – The more children are exposed to books, the more likely it is that reading will become more routine.
• Make suggestions – Recommend books that match your child’s interests.
• Give rewards – Consider buying your child a new book or making an extra trip to the library as an incentive.
• Surround children with books and magazines - Children who have access to grade-appropriate reading materials at home tend to perform better on standardized tests.
Literacy is the foundation for lifelong learning. Perry Township Schools is committed to teaching students the building blocks of success at every grade level.