Dear Friends of Westboro,
It’s so easy to take reading for granted. Like many things in life, it’s an activity that hardly merits a second thought. Yet, reading and writing are critically important skills people throughout the world need for daily survival and happiness. With this thought in mind, the staff and students of Westboro Elementary invite you to share our commitment to reading by helping us celebrate literacy.
To increase awareness of the importance of reading, we will be hosting READ IN week from October 7-10 in honour of this year’s theme, Bring Stories to Life. We are inviting guests to our school to share a book that was/is very important in their lives, either as children or as adults. Would you be interested in reading to a class or a small group of students?
If you would like to participate, or you would like more information, please call or email Erin Tomkins, our READ IN coordinator at 780-467-7751 or firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, happy reading!
READ IN events will be held at many other schools and locations throughout the Edmonton area in addition to Westboro. Check out readin.ca for more helpful information.
Tips on How to Read Aloud
Thank you for considering being a guest reader and supporting literacy at Westboro! Here are our top tips on reading aloud to groups:
1) Bring great books, well matched to your audience.
- Think about the age range of your group. Kindergarten students enjoy picture books about familiar experiences, with predictable plot lines and rhyming text. Lower elementary aged children appreciate more complex plots, characters, and humour. Poetry or short stories are also crowd-pleasers. For grades 4 and above consider reading one chapter or segment from a novel, or reading from a non-fiction book about sports, science, or famous people.
- Pick stories you are excited to share. Consider books you loved when you were growing up.
- For suggested titles, explore the booklists section on the Read-In website.
2) Practice your performing voice.
- Is your voice expressive? Is it loud enough for everyone to hear? Are you reading at a moderate pace so your audience can enjoy the story? Are you saying the words slowly and clearly? Are you pausing and, if applicable,showing the pictures in a way that ensures each person can see them?
- Practice until you feel comfortable. Practice your reading at home or perform for a friend and make changes as needed.
3) Go with the flow.
- Introduce yourself then introduce the book by noting the author and/or illustrator, explaining why you chose this book, or commenting on what might happen in the story. You might invite the children to ask questions before you begin, or request their thoughts on the story once you have finished reading it.
- Your audience might not react as you expect. Your group may appear restless or squirmy yet still be paying attention. Your visit is an opportunity for them to develop their skills as members of an audience and each person will be at a different stage in that development.
- Your enthusiasm and your willingness to share matters more than anything else. Enjoy the experience and know that you are growing your community’s future readers. Remember, reading lasts a lifetime!