Anticipation, Reading & Poetry

Photo: The first grade’s bulletin board for the month of December!

This week our school began the transformation from “Thankfulness” to “Anticipation.” With Advent beginning this Sunday, as a community of faith, we begin to prepare our hearts so that the Christ will find a home to rest in each of us.

It is a beautiful time of year! We are thankful to the SHS Home & School Association for the funds raised through the
Scholastic Book Fair! The $1,500 raised will fund novels for the teachers to use in literature circles, and leveled readers to use in the Learning Center, the Library and the for mini-libraries in each classroom. We want to thank Mrs. Dora Lim and Mrs. Charlotte Arrington especially for organizing this very special event. We are eagerly anticipating the new books we will receive because of the generosity and participation of so many in our school community.

I’m sure all of you read to your children, but did you know that reading to your children, especially young children, toddlers and infants, gives them a lasting literacy boost? This boost translates into higher language and vocabulary skills in elementary and middle school. Reading exercises the brain, enhances concentration, and develops imagination and creativity. Giving children time to read with you helps to develop a close, personal bond that lasts a lifetime!

However, it is important to note that what a child reads is equally important as how much they read. Statistics show that children read an average of 25 minutes a day, compared to 4 ½ hours a day in front of a screen. Out of those 25 minutes, students only read about 4 minutes of non-fiction. According to experts, non-fiction is a great way for children to develop critical thinking, analytical skills and—you guessed it—the ability to read and understand more complex texts!

Of course, there’s no need to lock your child’s monster stories or “Captain Underpants” in a closet and replace them with boring textbooks! Work with them to learn what they’re interested in—whether it’s sports, science, religion or history—and look together for fun and interesting texts! Non-fiction is everywhere. The challenge is to find non-fiction texts that are engaging and age-appropriate for your little ones!

Remember, the objective is to get them to read non-fiction daily and actually enjoy it! And while reading fiction is a great way to develop children’s imaginations and creativity, it’s non-fiction that sparks their curiosity and opens their minds to the world!

Speaking of reading, on Friday, I had the opportunity to hear Grade 4 perform Poetry Choral Reading! The students read with expression and clarity. Each one recited a rehearsed poem in front of the class, and some added dramatic gestures to their piece. I even got to share the first poem I memorized when I was five with them. It was a treat for me and I was so grateful for the opportunity!

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