Program lets pupils show talents while improving literacy skills

Pupils were bouncing with excitement as they prepared to go onstage for the Family Literacy Program at Joseph R. Lamar Elementary School.

"Did you know that reading can be fun?" Kimberly Mungo, the school's literacy coach, asked the pupils.

They quickly responded with, "Yea!"

About 100 parents and pupils attended the program that showcased kindergartners to fifth-graders singing, reading poetry and performing skits as stories were read.

"I think that the literacy program benefits the students because it gives them an opportunity to practice reading, reinforces fluency and is a chance for them to show parents what they do in the classroom," Ms. Mungo said.

The school has held the program for three years through a Reading First grant. Reading First is funded by the Department of Education and provides instructional tools to ensure that all pupils are reading on grade level by the end of third grade.

If the pupils aren't reading on grade level by that time, then it is usually difficult to get them where they need to be, Ms. Mungo said.

Lamar Elementary was a Silver Banner School for the 2005-06 school year, meaning that 80 to 85 percent of the kindergartners through third-graders were reading on grade level.

Ms. Mungo offers a few suggestions for parents to get their children interested in reading outside the classroom:

"Get books that interest them. If they are into cars, get books about cars. If they are into sports, get them books about sports. They'll read what they like."

Reach Nikasha Dicks at (706) 823-3336 or nikasha.dicks@augustachronicle.com.

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