Willow Elementary students, parents and staff members are talking about mice, rats and dungeons. What is the excitement about? They are all talking about a book, “The Tale of Despereaux” by Kate DiCamillo. This fantasy tale is a Newberry Award winner from 2004.
Approximately 680 students and their families were invited to participate in a family literacy event focused on reading together. Each family received a copy of the book and everyone is encouraged to read for 20 minutes each night during the month of February. Parents may read the story to younger children and older children may read to family members. Staff members are reading along with families.
Families were given the book, a schedule of what chapters to read each night, and some suggested family activities. Students have been happy to share what they are doing at home and photos are hung in the hallway by the school media center. Activities at the school promote the shared reading experience with trivia questions being read over the intercom.
Reading to and with children is a pleasurable event and can make children into readers for life.