Schools Join in Read Across America

Schools Join in Read Across America
Shawnee Mission School District

This spring, multiple Shawnee Mission Schools took time to join in a nationwide celebration of books and reading. Read Across America, led by the National Education Association, is considered to be “the nation’s largest celebration of reading” that encourages reading books “about everyone, for everyone.”

Here are a couple of highlights from Shawnee Mission school celebrations of Read Across America:

Nieman Elementary involved students and family members in their school wide book bash for an entire week.

To begin, students and family members had the opportunity to bring home a literacy kit. Each kit included a copy of the book “If I Built a Car” by Chris Van Dusen and resources for building a handmade car out of household materials.

The activity engaged families in the learning process and connected reading to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skill building, Principal Kiley Tenbrink highlighted.

Thatcher Almeida, second grader, built a car out of a Sprite bottle, skewers, and straws. The best part about it was building the car with his dad, he expressed.

Local partner Thermo Fisher provided literacy kits and the opportunity for each student to take a book home.

Reading-themed activities continued throughout the week at school. During Morning Meetings in the classroom, questions focused on books, with students answering questions about favorite authors and titles. The school also hosted a Twitter-Live bedtime story. Families and students joined remotely and heard a story read by a mystery reader, who was revealed to be social worker Anne Kwon.

As a grand finale for the week, Nieman hosted an all-school book parade.

Students in all grade levels dressed as characters or decorated paper plates featuring student’s book-related artwork. All students and staff traveled throughout the building sharing their artwork and outfits with one another.

With family members joining in the Twitter session, building car kits, and hearing about the week, Tenbrink heard from several about how students came home talking about reading and what they enjoyed.

“It all inspires a passion for reading with students,” Tenbrink shared. “These activities have helped make the excitement of school transfer to home.

Indian Hills Middle School students and staff also celebrated Read Across America with a fun-filled week that included theme days, door decorating, and lots of reading.

On “Hats off to Reading Day,” students created flip grid videos of themselves reading their favorite children's books. The videos were then shared with elementary schools for viewing and enjoyment by younger students.

English Language Arts Teacher Laura Ballard expressed how fun it was to watch middle school students share the books that were special to them.

Throughout this year, the Shawnee Mission School District has joined this celebration by launching Read Across SMSD. Click here to learn more.

Read Across SMSD, hosted in partnership with NEA Shawnee Mission, supports the district academic goals and the district strategic plan belief that a community's strength is derived from its diversity. It's an opportunity for all to celebrate stories and cultivate a culture of belonging for every student.