Salisbury Academy hosts reading adventure

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 2, 2014

SALISBURY — Salisbury Academy led approximately 125 parents and students on an adventure into the love of reading during the school’s sixth annual Family Reading Night.
This event for kindergarten through second-grade students and their parents provides a hands-on learning experience on how to read together.
“Our annual reading night event is another way we engage with families and create opportunities to extend classroom learning,” said Head of School Beverly Fowler. “Providing parents with tools designed to help with reading, writing and literacy skills at home creates a strong partnership between home and school as we work together to create lifelong love for reading.”
Parents and children rotated through three safari-themed, teacher-guided stations that explored fun, literacy-based activities. Faculty members led discussions about basic literacy skills and presented tips for using everyday activities to create literacy-rich home environments. Stations included topics such as fine motor skill development, understanding and applying the writing process, and understanding how to find a just-right book.
“Adult family members gain a deeper understanding of the important role they play as reading role models,” said Melissa Brown, reading specialist for Salisbury Academy. “The event reinforces the practical things all families can do to ensure their children become strong readers and learners. Together, schools and families practice literacy skills to encourage a love of reading and promote academic achievement.”
This annual event is planned by Brown, a veteran junior kindergarten through eighth-grade educator of 27 years. With a bachelor’s in elementary education and a master’s in reading education, Brown has extensive experience and training, including Gesell Developmental Observation, Irlens Syndrome Training, and the Orton-Gillingham Approach to teaching reading, which allows teachers to incorporate into their daily lessons the five components essential to an effective reading program: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, fluency, and comprehension strategies.
Brown has presented to fellow educators at the North Carolina Reading Association Conference on a variety of topics, including planning such an event.
“Reading Safari Night was a great success again this year. It was great to hear new ideas on literacy skills,” said parent Amber Lawson. “Reading is so important for children. It’s wonderful that the school takes time to teach these skills each year.”