Medina sending home summer reading bag for students in grades PreK to 5

Provided photos: Medina High School students help to assemble the reading bags in the District boardroom. Roberta Culver, a teacher at Oak Orchard Elementary, recorded her favorite story for students to listen to over the summer.

Posted 17 June 2022 at 3:29 pm

Press Release, Medina Central School

MEDINA – The Medina school district wants students and their families to keep on reading all summer long. Students in pre-kindergarten through grade five all received a summer reading bag to take home. These bags contain not only books but other items that support the science of reading approach in learning to read.

“For the past two years, we have partnered with The Reading League to educate our teachers on how to approach reading instruction based on brain research,” said Julie Webber, Medina’s director of Curriculum and Instruction. “We want our students to be successful in all content areas and this requires them to be proficient readers. This investment in staff professional learning will take time but we expect to see our students’ reading proficiency increase and therefore have higher achievement in math, science, social studies and many other areas.”

Webber would like family and community members to be a part of students’ efforts in learning to read.

“Humans are born with the natural abilities to hear and speak,” she said. “Reading must be explicitly taught – what does a letter look like, sound like, how to write it, etc. The more students can hear and speak language in storytelling and conversations, the more connections they will be able to make when they learn to read. We can all support early readers by simply having meaningful conversations with them and reading to them.”

Bags contain books, alphabet sound practice, family activity ideas, white boards, markers and a Mighty Mustang Reader bookmark.

The summer reading bags were assembled by high school students before their final day of class. Included in the bag is a Mighty Mustang Reader bookmark that contains a QR code to access a website with district students and staff reading their favorite books. Webber said this is just another way that students can build their vocabulary knowledge by listening to stories from some familiar people. (The district website also has links to the books read by students and staff.)

The district also recently hosted a Mustang Parent Academy session for parents, grandparents and caregivers on how to support their child’s reading efforts. Another session will be offered in the fall about the Science of Reading approach.