Westview Elementary

Dear Parents,

With winter a short time away this serves as a reminder that you can access school closings/delays by going to the Richmond Community Schools web site, listening to the radio, or watching television. If school is delayed or canceled, RCS will send you a Power Call message. Please make sure we have an accurate phone number.

Instructional time is valuable. We ask that you make any needed arrangements for after school pick-up before your child leaves in the morning. We do not want to interrupt learning unless it is an emergency.

We need you to support us as we teach reading at school by encouraging reading in your homes. What follows are twenty ways parents can encourage reading.

20 Ways to Encourage Reading

1. Scout for things your children might like to read. Use their interests and hobbies as starting points.
2. Leave all sorts of reading materials-including books, magazines, and colorful catalogs-in conspicuous plac-es around your home.
3. Notice what attracts your children’s attention, even if they only look at the pictures. Then build on that interest; read a short selection aloud, or simply bring home more information for pleasure in your spare time.
4. Let your children see you reading for pleasure in your spare time.
5. Take your children to the library regularly. Explore the children’s section together. Ask a librarian to suggest books and magazines your children might enjoy.
6. Present reading as an activity with a purpose - a way to gather useful information for a variety of purposes such as making paper airplanes, identifying a stamp or doll in your child’s collection, or planning a family trip.
7. Encourage older children to read to their younger brothers and sisters. Older children enjoy showing off their skills to an admiring audience.
8. Play games that are reading-related. Check your closet for spelling games played with letter tiles or dice, or board games that require players to read spaces, cards, and directions.
9. Perhaps over dinner, while you’re running errands, or in another informal setting, share your reactions to things you read, and encourage your children to do likewise.
10. Set aside a regular time for reading in your family, independent of schoolwork-the 20 minutes before lights out, just after dinner or whatever fits into your household schedule. As little as 10 minutes of free reading a day can help improve your child’s skills and habits.
11. Read aloud to your child, especially a child who is discouraged by his or her own poor reading skills. The pleasure of listening to you read, rather than struggling alone, may restore your child’s initial enthusiasm for books and reading.
12. Encourage your child to read aloud to you-an exciting passage in a book, an interesting tidbit in the newspaper, or a joke in a joke book. When children read aloud, don’t feel they have to get every word correct. Even good readers skip or mispronounce words now and then.
13. On gift-giving occasions, give books and magazines based on your child’s current interests.
14. Set aside a special place for children to keep their own books.
15. Introduce the bookmark. Remind youngsters that you don’t have to finish a book in one sitting; you can stop after a few pages, or a chapter, and pick up where you left off at another time. Don’t try to persuade your child to finish a book he or she doesn’t like. Recommend putting the book aside and trying another.
16. Treat your children to an evening of laughter and entertainment featuring-books! Many children (parents, too) regard reading as a “serious” activity. A joke book, a story told in riddles, or a funny passage read aloud could reveal another side of reading.
17. Extend your child’s positive reading experiences. For example, if your youngster enjoyed a book about dinosaurs, follow up with a visit to a natural history museum.
18. Offer other special incentives to encourage your child’s reading. Allow your youngster to stay up an extra 15 minutes to finish a chapter; promise to take your child to see a movie after he or she has finished the book on which it was based; relieve your child of a regular chore to free up time for reading.
19. Limit your children’s TV viewing in an effort to make time for other activities, such as reading. But never use TV as a reward for reading, or a punishment for not reading.
20. Not all reading takes place between the covers of a book. What about menus, road signs, food labels, and sheet music? Take advantage of countless spur-of-the-moment opportunities for reading during the course of your family’s busy day.

What Won’t Work

The following will only strengthen a child’s resistance to reading:

*Nagging. Avoid lecturing about the value of reading and hounding a child who is not reading. Your child will only resent it.

*Bribing. While there’s nothing wrong with rewarding your child’s reading efforts, you don’t want your youngster to expect a prize after finishing every book. Whenever possible, offer another book or magazine (your child’s choice) along with words of praise. You can give meaningful rewards on occasion, but offer them less and less frequently. In time, your child will experience reading as its own reward.

*Judging your child’s performance. Separate school performance from reading for pleasure. Helping your child enjoy reading is a worthwhile goal in itself.

*Criticizing your child’s choices. Reading almost anything at all is better than reading nothing at all. Although you may feel your child is choosing books that are too easy or that treat subjects too lightly, hide your disappointment. Reading at any level is valuable practice, and successful reading helps build confidence as well as reading skills.
If your differences are simply a matter of personal taste, respect your child’s right to his or her own preferences.

*Setting unrealistic goals. Look for small signs of progress rather than dramatic changes in your child’s read-ing habits. Don’t expect a reluctant reader to finish a book overnight. Maybe over the next week…with your gentle encouragement.

*Making a big deal about reading. Don’t turn reading into a campaign. Under pressure, children may read only to please their parents rather than themselves, or they may turn around and refuse to read altogether.

Tammy Rhoades
Principal
 

A few general reminders about procedural items.

Students need to be in class and ready to begin their daily activities at 7:50. Our dismissal time is 2:40 on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. We dismiss at 1:40 on Tuesday. We need for all our students to be here daily and on time. Attendance is a priority at Westview. Please schedule all appointments after school hours.  

Please remember to drive safely especially during drop off and pick up times. We have many wonderful kids and we need your support to help keep our school safe. If you are in a hurry and do not have time to wait, I suggest that you do not pull into the circle drive. There are alternative drop-off locations available; these options include dropping off your child at the corner or on one of the side streets. If you need to come into the building to talk with one of us, please park your car in a parking spot.  

         When we have a two-hour delay, school will start at 9:50. Breakfast is not served when we are on a two-hour delay. You can access school closings/delays by going to the Richmond Community Schools web site, listening to the radio, or watching television.