No monkeying around with family literacy

By Stuart Hedstrom 
Staff Writer

    DOVER-FOXCROFT — Students and family members of the pre-kindergarten program at SeDoMoCha Elementary School spent recent evenings taking part in activities designed to get them interested in reading together during “Monkey Mayhem Family Literacy Night” held May 14 and 16 for the morning and afternoon program sessions.

    Those in attendance for the May 14 night, which included kindergarten teaches who the students will have next year, gathered around a setup of tables for a brief PowerPoint presentation before the evening’s activities. Pre-K teacher Elizabeth Bisson said that literacy “is not just the reading parts, it’s all kinds of parts — reading, listening, speaking and everything around them is going to enrich them in literacy.”
    Bisson said literacy can enrich a child’s life and be a source of great joy providing them a way to learn about the world. “Why is family so important?,” she said. “You know your child better than anyone, if they see you reading they know how important it is.”
    Children can learn about literacy in many different ways, not just through reading books as Bisson, who was joined by fellow pre-K teacher Ellen McBride, explained. She said parents can tell their children why they need to read signs as they are driving, and junk mail can be a teaching tool.
    “Think of all the junk mail you get at your home,” Bisson said. ‘Kids love to open mail,” she added, as the pre-K students can then look through and see all the text and the accompanying set up and be able to pick out the letters they recognize.
    After the presentation the students assembled around kindergarten teacher Deborah Catell, who read to them from a “Five Little Monkeys” book. “We have some awesome kindergarten teachers who came to help us out,” Bisson said.
    The children then divided up into two groups, depending on whether they were given a monkey or banana sticker upon their arrival, for the activities. The children made monkey masks out of paper plates and had some primate outlines for coloring and also enjoyed a snack of bananas and cookies and milk.

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