When: September 28, 2014
Where: Riverside Park West 97th St and Riverside drive.
Time: 9am registration - 10am Walk time
. Why don’t you join Team Cleary? The more walkers we have the merrier and the better for the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) which will donate 40% of all the funds we raise back to Cleary School to support our fundraising program! Back in 2010 Team Cleary raised $5,000. Last year, Team Cleary more than doubled that amount and raised over $10,000!
Cleary Students in the elementary school embarked on a new program this past fall. As part of the Scholastic Books’ “Read Every Day” Program, students voluntarily participated in a new Library Literacy Program. Students selected their own books, read them and reported to the librarian about the book. Using a “Retell, Relate and Reflect” approach, the goal was for each student to meet with the librarian, Nancy Tenure, to discuss their book each time they finished reading. They were asked to:
During the fall, 22 students from grades 4-7 participated in the “Read Every Day” Program and read an average of 9 books each outside of school time over 12 weeks. However, during the spring, 23 students participated in the program reading an average of 24 books each! That was an amazing overall reading increase of over 166%!
Students received recognition for their success in the literacy program. Since studies show that award recognition is highly motivational affecting student success, students earned trophies and awards during a special assembly held both in the fall and spring honoring their determination, hard work and success. Many parents and families attended the assembly to see their child’s achievement.
Cleary has long maintained a multi-faceted approach to literacy for our students of which its teachers are the most valuable resource. Ongoing teacher training is a vital aspect of Cleary’s program. During the school year there are weekly conferences with noted educators and researchers such as Dr. Kristin Di Perri, expert in the field of Deafness and literacy, who assist the teachers in using instructional approaches for teaching English grammar in a way that “maximizes visual information and the retention/internalization of concepts” related to reading
All of Cleary’s teachers are certified, experienced and continually participate in professional development in order to increase students’ learning in the classroom. Maintaining a good school library with a certified and well trained librarian who creates a positive and motivating environment with a range of good literature for all levels and interests is also key. Additionally, this new literacy program was started under Cleary’s new Superintendent Ms. Jackie Simms’ leadership along with the support of Principal Ellen McCarthy.
As another part of the overall literacy initiative at Cleary, the teachers throughout the elementary and secondary program use computers as a rich and additional resource for our students to develop relevant literacy skills across subject areas throughout the school day. The students use “linear and non-linear forms of information gathering and text to gain knowledge, examine research and prepare reports on a subject”; also, they learn the important skill of scanning and narrowing the focus of a computer search for information that is relevant to a topic. Not only is literacy a major focus at Cleary but mastery in computer skills is an additional valuable by-product. Cleary School uses the Achieve 3000 Reading Program that is a computer based reading curriculum for all students in addition to classroom instruction and other programs such as Appletree.
Another aspect of Cleary’s commitment to literacy achievement is the free after-school tutoring program. During the school year, participating students meet once each week for a 60 minute period with a tutor for one-to-one instruction. The tutors focus on reading skills. The tutors receive prior training in reading strategies and are supported throughout the year by master teacher, Loretta Sullivan.
Using a variety of materials including high-interest and controlled reading books, this after-school program allows students to choose the texts they want to read – newspapers, magazines, books, or almost any instructional materials. The program permits students the opportunity to practice reading at a comfortable (instructional) level while enhancing their motivation to read. Remaining with the same tutor throughout the year creates a positive atmosphere for students where they can gain confidence in their ability, develop skills and make progress.
At home, the school’s Parent Educator, Sr. Regina, is another resource for parents to encourage literacy. Parents are encouraged to observe their child’s interests perhaps from a television show or movie. Teens who like to watch “The Survivor” might be interested in books about camping, maps, foods and more. Parents can try to ensure that there is appropriate reading material in the house for their child; for example, outdoors, fashion, or sports magazine. Purchasing a subscription to a good magazine is an excellent idea to encourage literacy too. Many magazines may be borrowed from a library.
Some parents are concerned that the books their child is reading may be too difficult or too easy. Students should have the freedom to select their own literature but parents do need to guide them. If a parent is unsure of a reading level for a specific book, ask a librarian or your child’s teacher. Also, parents may find this helpful:
Type a sample paragraph or two from your child’s text into Microsoft Word. Select Tools/Options/Spelling and Grammar, check "Show readability statistics" and click "ok". Then, return to Tools and click on Spelling and Grammar. The program will spell-check first, and then give you the readability statistics, including grade level.
Cleary’s commitment to its students is rooted in its beautiful mission statement, “Nurturing the potential of each child”. The library’s new literacy program is just one aspect that helps to address our students’ potential as a successful future and contributing member of our community.