By Toni Garrard Clay/AISD Communications Coordinator
Athens ISD has been hard at work getting all its elementary students on the same page — literally.
In late October, pre-K students at all three elementary campuses — Bel Air, Central Athens and South Athens — participated in the 13th annual Read for the Record event, which included each child receiving their very own copy of the illustrated storybook, “Maybe Something Beautiful.”
“It was a great opportunity for us to be able to share the value of literacy in our community,” said South Athens Elementary Principal Claudia Stiles.
A few days later, the district launched the “Athens Reads Together” book club. Every elementary classroom teacher and student — from pre-K through fifth grade — was given a copy of the beloved children’s book, “Because of Winn Dixie.” As part of the book club, students had the first four chapters read to them at school to establish a connection to the story. Then parents were provided with a schedule to finish the book at home with their child during the first half of November.
“We did this because we want, as a district, to create a stronger community connection between home and school, and we want to place quality books into our students’ hands to promote a literacy-friendly home,” said AISD Elementary Librarian Deidre Pool. “But mostly, we simply want our students to fall in love with reading.”
Reading professionals promote the benefits of reading books that are beyond a child’s own reading level, explained Pool. Reading to students, she said — even those able to read by themselves — better prepares children to become lifelong readers and learners.