Hatley elementary emphasizes reading though Dr. Seuss themes

COURTESY Julie Houston, a member of the Mississippi National Guard, reads to a group of Hatley elementary students as part of Read Across America week.

Julie Houston, a member of the Mississippi National Guard, reads to a group of Hatley elementary students as part of Read Across America week.

HATLEY – It was all things Dr. Seuss as volunteers ranging from grandparents to Monroe County School District Superintendent Scott Cantrell came to Hatley Elementary School Feb. 27 to read to students and moderate discussions afterward.
“Hatley elementary is roaring about reading,” said school librarian Debbie Leech. “To emphasize the importance of early literacy skills, the faculty has committed to go above and beyond to nurture a love for reading while equipping students with the tools to become successful readers.”
Leech is excited that the students are excited about reading.
“It is the Hatley elementary library’s goal to support and encourage our students to become lifelong readers. In an effort to promote early literacy among our students in the library, we have provided various opportunities for them to be immersed in literature this year. Some of these opportunities include family read nights focused around a central theme; a renewed emphasis on the Accelerated Reader program, in which students can earn rewards for reading; the D.E.A.R. program, “Drop Everything and Read;” and most recently, our “Community Leaders as Readers,” which was a part of the Read Across America celebration,” Leech said.
To kick off the week, students enjoyed visits from numerous community leaders, including retired teachers, local church leaders, law enforcement officers, military personnel, elected officials and the superintendent of education. To bring alive some of Dr. Seuss’ literature, they read his books, sang songs, played instruments and shared life lessons focused around the joy of reading.
During the week of Feb. 27 through March 3, Hatley elementary students joined other students across the nation in celebrating the renowned Dr. Seuss. Students participated in fun activities such as making green eggs and ham and Dr. Seuss’ fictional green substance Oobleck and competing in a reading race, among other learning activities based on Dr. Seuss books.
Principal Misty Powell pointed out that these fun reading opportunities were only part of the broader push for early literacy.
“To align with Mississippi’s literacy campaign of “Strong Readers = Strong Leaders,” Hatley elementary wants to do all we can to equip our students with the reading skills that are necessary for success in the classroom and in life. We know that our students and teachers are working diligently on reading skills through data-driven instruction, and we see evidence of our students’ growth as we regularly monitor their progress through formal and informal assessments,” she said.
Powell applauded the efforts of her faculty, parents and community.
“With the state-mandated Literacy-Based Promotion Act requiring third-grade students to pass a test to be promoted to the fourth grade, it has become even more important that schools and families work together to help our students master literacy skills. It has been refreshing to see the teachers’ and parents’ commitment to this initiative illustrated most recently through their voluntary after-school tutoring program. I am very proud of my teachers for sacrificing their time and going the extra mile to ensure their students’ needs are being met. We have been amazed by the number of parents who have been willing to support their child’s participation in our after-school tutoring. It’s a good problem when there is a need to run a carpool line for a second time in the afternoons. We appreciate our parents’ support for our school,” she said.