CARTER’S VALLEY — Despite the rumors and the clichés that fill TV shows and movies and adolescent books, children do truly love to learn ... and read.
Amie Lawson, Kindergarten teacher and Family Engagement Coordinator at Carter’s Valley Elementary School, says, “just ask any teacher about the twinkle in the eye of a young student when he or she finally conquers a new skill in the classroom, or when that same student learns a new fact about the world that sets the wheels of imagination spinning”.
“It is a magical moment and the goal of every teacher,” she said. “At Carter’s Valley Elementary School, we are blessed to see that moment play over and over each day in our classrooms.”
Unfortunately, Lawson said, for many students, “that twinkle disappears once they step off the bus each afternoon”.
“The encouragement, patience and attention they received at school sometimes does not exist at home,” she added.
Carter’s Valley Elementary is a Title 1 School, which means it receives dedicated federal funding based on the number of students qualifying for and receiving free or reduced breakfast and lunch meals.
“As you can imagine, home life for many of our students can be very difficult,” she said.
To create an environment in which students can “shine and share the reading skills they have learned with parents, family members, and the community at large”, the school on May 9 and 10 will host its fourth annual Reader’s Café.
“Reservations are made by parents, family members, community leaders, and others to come to our café, enjoy a yummy treat from the menu and then hear a stories read by our students,” she said. “These guests get to experience firsthand that twinkle in the eye of a student filled with the joy of reading. Our Reader’s Café is an opportunity to directly engage with our parents and the community at large. It opens the eyes of everyone that comes through the door and shines a spotlight on the remarkable and talented students we have in our Kindergarten classes. In many cases, our café inspires parents to read with their students and sets the stage for continuing education in the home.”