While remote learning is in full effect and teachers are physically separated from their students, exciting celebrations are still taking place at Detroit Premier Academy (DPA)! DPA recently held its annual Reading Fair virtually, which provided students the opportunity to showcase their favorite Accelerated Reader book.
Students of all ages and grades were invited to select a fictional or non-fictional book within their reading or grade level and present it on a tri-fold board, using a Storyboard format. Students were required to include the following: book title, author, setting, problem or conflicts, characters, solutions, publication date, plot summary, author’s purpose, and tone or mood.
Elements on the storyboard did not have to have a particular arrangement, however, all items had to be displayed. Students were able to get creative and include pictures, graphs, models, shadowboxes, or illustrations that might be appropriate for their story.
This annual event is held by the Literacy Committee, which is made up of members from across content areas and grade levels at DPA whose primary purpose is to build a school community of readers. “The Literacy Committee at DPA exists to improve reading comprehension for students, as well as impact their attitudes towards reading,” shared Angela Robinson, sixth- through eighth-grade language arts teacher.
The committee promotes reading through monthly and trimester incentives, produces the annual reading fair, has grade-level competitions, and even has challenges that require school leaders to dress up as characters or in costumes when students meet or exceed reading expectations.
The project even got parents involved! “Because parent involvement in a child's education can be a valuable part of student development, parents were encouraged to help their students complete this project,” said Robinson. “Our hope was to reinforce concepts previously taught in school while enjoying quality family time together.”
Once the winners were determined, the Literacy Committee went to the homes of the winners and delivered their prizes, which was a Razor scooter and helmet. Prizes were donated by The Detroit Bus Company, courtesy of the partnership built by Ms. Monique Czarnecki, paraprofessional at DPA.
After receiving 42 submissions, the Literacy Committee awarded 13 students for their exceptional projects. The recipients were:
- “The Three Little Pigs” by T. West, kindergarten.
- “Clifford’s First Autumn” by T. Williams, first grade.
- “Endangered Butterflies” by D. Stonestreet, first grade.
- “Being Safe” by J. Harris, first grade.
- “Dork Diaries” by M. Sowell, second grade.
- “The Lion King” by R. Dooms, second grade.
- “The Alien Next Door” by T. West, second grade.
- “Peter’s Chair” by T. Byrd, second grade.
- “The Trouble With Tinkerbell” by V. Smith, third grade.
- “Harry Potter” by R. Isaac Mason, fourth grade.
- “The Chronicles of Narnia” by N. Boachie-Yiadom, fifth grade.
- “No Fear Hamlet” by J. Hunter, fifth grade.
- “The Giver” by M. Sowell, eighth grade.
Robinson called each family to let them know they were coming to their homes with a special prize and some families even decorated their houses to welcome DPA staff.
LaTronda Ways, middle school dean, was on the megaphone, Mrs. Jennifer Jackson, first-grade teacher, was cheering and brought silly string, and Ms. Catherine Karim, kindergarten teacher, was the videographer recording the reactions of students receiving their prize.
Robinson shared that celebrating and rewarding scholars has always been a priority at DPA. “We want students to experience the joys of hard work and dedication, and to understand that perseverance pays off!” she said. “So, we seized the opportunity to reward scholars who were meeting and exceeding our expectations, despite learning remotely.”