Students sat on the floor of Sanders Elementary School’s media center scanning the pages of their new books. They’d pull their nose out of the books only to eagerly tap their neighbor on the shoulder to show them something that they had read. Each Sanders student took home a bag filled with books for their grade’s reading level thanks to donations from the community.
As the students flipped the pages of their new books, they probably were not thinking about literacy being the building blocks for their future education. The students may have been just happy to have new books that they could call their own, but seeing the kids excited about reading meant much more to their teachers.
“We need to make sure that they are reading on grade level. The best way to achieve that is to give them access to books. It is really going to benefit them in the long run,” explained Sanders fourth grade teacher Jane Gray.
“With every core content area, students have to be able to read so reading really is the foundation for every other subject,” the fourth grade teacher added.
Students are more likely to get excited about reading and grab a book to read versus playing a game or other activity if the book covers a topic or genre that interests them.
That’s why Gray was excited to see the students open the bag of books to find ones they like. For example, Gray said the fourth grade boys were ecstatic to find Goosebumps books.
Yes, the students could go to the public library to find a host of books they want to read, but that’s not always an option for the students at Sanders Elementary
Many of the students also don’t have a library of books at home. That’s why the community stepping up to give books to the Sanders students is so valuable.
“The students need to know that there are adults outside of their family that do care about them,” said Taylor Jenkins, another fourth grade teacher at Sanders.
As part of the book giveaway event, Superintendent Chris Ragsdale shared story time with the Sanders kindergartners. The students listened as the Cobb Superintendent read “The Word Collector” by Peter Reynolds. Superintendent Ragsdale knows that student success begins with literacy, and that’s why he made it a priority to attend the Sanders book giveaway.
Read this article to learn more about literacy in Cobb, and how the district educators are building a foundation of student success.