Reading for the Gold

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From Jan. 22-29, the PTA at Thomas J. Lahey Elementary School sponsored Parents as Reading Partners (PARP), a statewide reading program that encourages students to read at home with parents and host schoolwide events to establish good reading habits. This year’s PARP theme at TJL was “Reading for the Gold.”

Inspired by an Olympic competition, each wing of the building was assigned and decorated to represent a different country. A huge poster of the Olympic symbol was adorned at the entrance of the school and the symbol was placed throughout the building. Led by administrators and teachers, the week kicked off with a special assembly to help students build up excitement for the program. To conclude the presentation, teachers sang lyrics that promoted reading to the tune of “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift.

Each day of the week offered a new theme for students to participate and show off their PARP spirit. Students celebrated “Reading Day” by wearing the color red; used their imagination for “Crazy Hat Day;” supported their teams on “Favorite Jersey Day” and literally dropped everything and read for D.E.A.R. Day. Additionally, students took a pledge to read a certain number of minutes each night and then completed reading forms signed by their parents.

As added motivation, the entire school was challenged to complete at least 100,000 minutes of reading. If they met this feat, they had the opportunity to create a “Principal’s Challenge,” a students-made challenge that their principal, Margy Greene, would perform. The PTA tallied a total of 102,094 minutes read by the entire student body and students are submitting their ideas for the Principal’s Challenge. In addition, winners were announced from each grade level and class with the most minutes read.