Reading Initiatives

Mark Your Calendars: Feb. 26 is Family Literacy Night!

We’re approaching the end of February: a month of roller coaster weather marked by cloudy days and dark nights. Are you tired of dreary evenings and the monotony of winter?

Are you ready for a break in your routine?

Ready to inspire your kids and model literacy in your home?

Then join us for Family Literacy Night!

Allendale Public Schools, Family Literacy Night

Next Tuesday, February 26, Allendale Public Schools will be hosting a Family Literacy Night in partnership with the Allendale Rotary Club’s Annual “Amazing Reading Bus” Spaghetti Dinner. The Rotary Club will be dishing out Italian goodness from 5 – 7 pm in the high school cafeteria, with all proceeds going to the Allendale Township’s summer literacy program. Tickets for dinner are as follows:

Adults $7

Children (age 6-12) $4

Kids 5 & under eat FREE!

Allendale Public Schools, Family Literacy Night

After dinner you’re invited to make your way to the Ceglarek Fine Art Center where we’re pleased to welcome a very special guest: local author Mark Newman!

Mr. Newman, who refers to himself as an “environmental superhero”, writes about issues close to the hearts of those of us living in the Great Lakes Basin. With vivid illustrations brilliantly finished at the hands of Newman’s dear friend Mark Heckman, his Sooper Yooper books about invasive species incorporate biology and environmental awareness in exciting, kid-friendly language.

Sooper Yooper, Mark Newman, Allendale Public Schools, Family Literacy Night

Mark will present his interactive talk from 7 – 8 pm and will also sign copies of his books which are currently available at a discounted price. For ordering details, contact your child’s teacher before Wednesday, February 20.

If you have questions about our Family Literacy Night, click HERE for more details, or contact Mrs. Buck at 616-892-3475 (x 5149).

Categories: Community News, News You Can Use, Reading Initiatives | Leave a comment

Celebrating a Summer of Reading

For the past fourteen years, the Amazing Reading Bus has lumbered through the streets of Allendale loaning books and borrowing smiles from students who might not otherwise visit a library during the summer months. Monday’s celebration at Allendale Township Park was a colorful reminder of just what this program means to our community members and how much our youngest readers value the opportunity to search for new stories.
Over the past six weeks, the Amazing Reading Bus (whose interior is pictured above) has shared fiction and phonics with over 600 students! With the goal of simply keeping kids reading throughout the summer, Allendale Elementary Assistant Principal Ryan Coghill noted that getting books in the hands of kids is paramount. By creating bus stops and disseminating a schedule, students are given the chance to get new books each week!

The Amazing Reading Bus Party was a culmination of more than a month of the mobile library encouraging reading and boosting reading comprehension. The twelfth of its kind designed to by Title 1 Coordinator Richelle Rybinski, yesterday’s celebration was a carefree family outing filled with fun. Jill Wilson, Principal of Allendale Elementary School, summed it up by saying, “It’s a nice time of year to reconnect with families and get them excited about the transition back to school.”
The success of the Amazing Reading Bus hinges not only on the kids who eagerly await its weekly arrival, but also on the wonderful women behind the wheel.

Connie Merrill and Deb Oros devote their summers to helping students find books at their reading level, study new sight words, and create flash cards to help students practice. They say that there’s nothing better than hearing kids get excited about reading and recommend books to each other. It makes their day when two friends choose the same book so they can read it together.

Amazing Reading Bus drivers Connie Merrill & Deb Oros pictured with Title 1 Program Coordinator Richelle Rybinski (L to R)

The ladies of the Amazing Reading Bus also wish to thank the parents who so often have brought them something to drink, a snack to enjoy, or let them in their homes to use the restroom. “We even got root beer floats this summer!” they commented.  

All agreed: it’s the kindness of Allendale families that make their jobs a joy. Thank you to all of the families who joined us at the Township Park and for all the hours you spent reading with their children this summer! See you next year!

Categories: APS Celebrations, Community News, Reading Initiatives | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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