Mead Elementary started The Summer Fun Reading Program this year that opens up their school library to the community from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. every Tuesday.
Recognizing the Town of Mead does not have a public library, Jennifer Stanich, a kindergarten teacher at Mead Elementary, developed the idea to open up their school library during the summer after attending a similar program at Fall River Elementary with her children.
“This initiative is a great opportunity to get books in the hands of children,” said Betsy Ball, Mead Elementary Principal.
The Summer Fun Reading Program is open to all Mead Elementary students regardless of their reading level. Before the start of summer, teachers specifically invite struggling readers to participate and the teachers create book bags with individualized materials to help students learn and grow. Mead Elementary teachers volunteer their time each week to run the program over the summer.
“Our teachers volunteer their time out of the goodness of their hearts because that’s what we do at Mead Elementary,” said Ball.
The Summer Fun Reading Program encourages students to read at home with their families. A reading log is provided to give students an opportunity to track their reading progress and earn prizes as they complete their weekly reading.
“A big success of this program has been increasing community engagement. Community members of all ages have participated in The Summer Fun Reading Program. Adults and students alike are mesmerized by the books during our Tuesday evening read alouds,” Ball said.
This initiative has made great strides for Mead readers in its first year and the Mead Elementary team is always looking to do more. The school’s next goal is to implement new books at a community clubhouse, so that students have greater access to reading outside of school.