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Family Read-Alouds a Powerful Tool for Reading Growth
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16 February 2018   Rebecca Horniman
Amy Finston, Youth Librarian, and Bud Garso, Library Specialist and Lincoln Lion Alumni, brought Prescott Public Library to Lincoln Elementary, signing up students and parents for library cards. Amy Finston also presented an Edu-Session to parents during the event.

It’s about reading and family engagement.

The Family Literacy Night recently held at Lincoln Elementary School was a definite success! Families enjoyed pizza and desserts, children learned movements and performed to Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off,” and parents acquired techniques to make family read alouds an even more powerful tool for reading growth.

Organizers were Jenni McClearn-Beaver, 21st Century Grant Coordinator at Lincoln; Denise Murphy of Arizona Reads Now; and Ali Conant from NAU. Murphy described the evening’s purpose. “Parent edu-sessions focused on utilizing read-alouds to encourage language building, vocabulary enrichment, comprehension building, and a love of reading that blooms when parents engage in read alouds with their children.”

Papa John’s generously furnished the pizza, with Fry’s providing desserts. McClearn-Beaver commented, “The simple act of providing dinner allows families to attend this important event.”

Murphy stated, “This was a wonderfully collaborative event between Lincoln school, Arizona Reads Now, and NAU, but also includes many community partnerships: Prescott Public Library, Raising a Reader, The Launch Pad Teen Center, Expect More Arizona, PUSD's Family Resource Center, Fry's, Frozen Frannie’s, Papa John's, and Bloom Tree Realty.”

The evening was capped off with the children’s beaming-faced performance, enthusiastically coached by mentors from The Launch Pad Teen Center.

McClearn-Beaver was thrilled with the success of the event. “It helps to remind parents that raising readers takes a village. We want to support our parents and give them all the tools necessary to bridge the gap between home and school - reading for academic success and reading for fun!” she said.

Principal Karen Hughes summed it up with a smile. “The winners in this are our wonderful Lincoln children and families. Anytime we make that happen, we have been successful.”