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Volunteer Voice: Kathy Lofton, ReadingPals

December 12, 2014

Where, oh where, has this month gone? Weren’t we just dressing up for trick or treating? This has been a busy time with Thanksgiving holidays and immediately afterwards, my VPK kiddos were already practicing for a holiday¬†program! But we managed to squeeze in some wonderful stories and fun activities as well.

Smiles like these mean students are having fun while learning to read, which makes it more likely that they'll succeed over the course of their academic career.
Smiles like these mean students are having fun while learning to read, which makes it more likely that they’ll succeed over the course of their academic career.

From the Garden had great illustrations of fruits and veggies with “hidden” numerals that matched the quantity shown on each page. We matched magnetic numbers with produce on flash cards, and drew pictures of our favorite garden treats. Orange carrots, purple cabbage, and red strawberries brought a big smile to my face. It’s amazing to see how coloring skills have advanced in only a few months!

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ReadingPals students learn foundational vocabulary skills, including colors, shapes and numbers.

We had a chance to make turkeys from our hand prints using construction paper and googly eyes. Cutting and pasting was hard work, but those googly eyes made it all worthwhile. The children also got to choose a new book to take home and everyone had to ponder the many options before reaching a final decision.

Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, The Big Hungry Bear found us retelling the story using sequencing. We talked about how the little mouse decided to cut the strawberry in half to share, and we practiced listening for the sound of different syllables. Then, of course, there were drawings of mice and strawberries.

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By drawing scenes from the stories ReadingPals read, students become excited about books and foster a lifelong love of learning.

For our last scheduled ReadingPals session of this calendar year, I chose to read How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss. After a couple of weeks spent practicing for their school program, all the children knew that Christmas is about more than presents and things, and we loved when the Grinch figured that out too! Most of them had previously seen the movie, so there were no huge surprises. We colored Christmas trees and each child received a coloring book and a “grinch-green” flashlight from Ms. Kathryn.

I’m looking forward to seeing them all perform on Friday evening. They’ve learned songs and a couple of my little guys even have speaking roles. They are all learning to work together as a group toward a common goal, something we all need to remember is important. I wish you all a holiday season filled with joy and love, and after it’s all over, a little peace.