Saturday, 26 April 2014 00:00
Every year, Center Street Elementary School celebrates PARP (Parents As Reading Partners) week. The PTA organizes PARP week and its goal is to help parents inspire their children to become lifelong readers.
“We want to help make reading fun at school and at home so our children will love reading,” said Christine Liu, PARP committee chair.
PARP week kicked off at the Center Street School with an opening ceremony where students were introduced to their reading challenge through a wildly entertaining, full-costume dramatic performance by teachers and the principal. Next, there was a visit by Brian Pinkney, award-winning author and illustrator.
The PARP committee decided to implement a video game theme this year to tackle the challenge of children preferring screen time instead of book time. Instead of leveling up on games, PARP encouraged students to level up their reading. The PARP committee wrote a story line involving some popular video game characters, with a different twist.
When decorating the school, the committee integrated books and video game themes to captivate student minds and interest levels.
Center Street was transformed to “CenterLand” for the week. The students were challenged to read each night in order to earn enough gold coins to unlock different “levels” and help free the fair Princess Speech (played by school librarian Mrs. Guarini), who was being held captive in the library by book-hating Mowser, (played by computer teacher Mr. DeCelie).
Parents were encouraged to read with their children at home by doing different bonus coin challenges. Every hallway of the school was filled with gold coins, with each representing 15 minutes that a student read.
Principal Bierwiler and Mrs. Korder introduced new books and adventures to the students and Mowser. A wide range of books were featured in each skit to develop the story line.
By the end of the week, Mowser had a new appreciation for books and released Princess Speech.
In conjunction with PARP, the school had its Library Sleepover. The children returned to school in the evening, wearing their pajamas, carrying their teddy bears, enjoying story time with their teachers.
While the children were at their sleepover, parents were encouraged to visit the PTA Book Fair as well as a presentation by Mr. Beirwiler and Mrs. Korder on “How to make reading more fun at home.” Approximately 130 parents were in attendance for this presentation.
Other highlights of PARP week included a book drive. More than 1,000 new and gently used books were donated to First Book Long Island. A special “Drop Everything and Read” session took place during the week. Children brought in their favorite books and read with their class buddy during this special time.
After all the children leveled up their reading, PARP week closed out with The Principal’s Challenge. The Rocky movie theme song blared through the gym as Mr. Bierwiler had to complete a challenging obstacle course starting with the rope climb.
Excitement filled the entire gym as the children cheered their principal past each obstacle. Mr. Bierwiler’s performance rocked the entire gym with laughter, cheers, and applause from beginning to end. Each child went home with an age appropriate book courtesy of the Center Street PTA.
— From the Center Street School