Sophia Arreola

Sophia Arreola holds pig and elephant puppets she made at Strathmore Elementary Family Literacy Night Thursday, March 7. Over 150 parents, teachers, and students attended the fun and festive annual reading event.

Fun for all during Family Reading Night at Strathmore Elementary

Over 150 people attended the Family Reading Night at Strathmore Elementary auditorium on Thursday, March 7.

Children were having a ball at the 12 book related activities with teachers reading books to them, while parents either played with them or read books kids during the activities. 

Melissa Guire who teaches at the school, and her husband Alan were busy helping keep track of kids and activities during the event. Alan is heavily involved with Kiwanis Club of Strathmore and always supports school functions. 

Teachers set up fun and simple games that kids would enjoy, such as guessing games, matching games, cards and coloring to encourage kids to read and get involved with books, such as a book by artist Mo Willems with his elephant and pigeon characters that kids love. Fourth graders Valeria Gonzalez and Genesis Villaloboa, both nine, were having a blast making character hats, and enjoying themselves tremendously. 

“It’s really cool,” said Gonzalez. “I get to hang out with my friends, and I can see all my

former teachers.” 

Her friend, Genesis, also enjoyed seeing her teachers, and said, “It’s fun. You get to do a lot of fun activities, and the Mo Willems booth was my favorite.”

Principal Jacquie Meredith said everyone likes the pigeon character. She was enjoying seeing so many parents who were involved with their children’s education and reading abilities. Aside from a raffle for the children to win book prizes, Scholastic Book Fairs had set up books for students in the library, which was busy with parents and children eager to purchase books.

Back in the auditorium quite a few Spanish speaking parents spoke about the elementary family reading program with the help of interpreter Jessica Ruiz. Marcela Castro spoke in Spanish and said, “This is one of the best schools there is. I like all of the teachers and this family event. I like it all.”

Tina Fernandez spoke in English and said, “I do recommend Strathmore Elementary. I came from Porterville and bring my daughter here. She’s in third grade and she loves this school, and I plan to bring my son to school when he’s old enough.”

One of the activities was “pin the green eggs on the ham” for the Dr. Seuss book “Green Eggs and Ham,” which was being read by teachers Leslie DePaoli and Debbie Derleth.

Alan Guire was reading to his grandson Riley Jackson, and retired reading specialist Elizabeth Kaufman was helping with the raffle tickets and counting how many parents and students attended the event. She worked with kindergarten through fourth grade students for 27 years, and said she loves to help with family night and some of the bigger events like the Fall festival.

Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves at the event and there were quite a few winners during the raffle.

The school’s theme for 2019 is “Go for your personal best,” said Ms. Meredith. The district also has a character process called “The Leader in Me,” which is based on the Stephen Covey book, “The 7 Habits of Happy Kids.”  

Meredith says kids lead their own education, and they have opportunities to take on leadership roles — academically and socially. 

“Students realize they are responsible for themselves in reading, math, science, and character. These family nights are an opportunity for students to show their parents that their  leaders are readers,” she said.

BUt perhaps the best quote of the night came from 7-year-old first grader Sophie Navarro, who summed up the evening as follows:  “I think it’s great how they have us do stuff. But I haven’t seen anything yet, because I’m very picky.”

Recommended for you