Charles Mack Elementary School in the Elk Grove Unified School District motivated hundreds to read and learn about the importance of literacy during Read Across America Day.
At the beginning of March, children across the nation celebrate and honor beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss’s birthday by participating in Read Across America. Students celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday at Charles Mack Elementary School the week leading up to the nationwide Read Across America Day with their own spirit day themes and a group of events on Friday including Dr. Seuss themed activities in classrooms, guest readers, and a poetry slam. The school also provided a hearty breakfast to the parents and caregivers of the school along with a 45 minute course on how they can provide their children with support that connects to the work that is being done in the classroom.
During the course, parents were taught about the importance of reading rates and accuracy and how they can help their students improve on those aspects. Parents were also given tools like books, passages, and timers to support their efforts at home. In addition, parents were introduced to the “We Read” book collection in the Charles Mack library which are leveled by reading proficiency, are in English and Spanish and provide caregivers with books where the adults read one page at their level and students read the next page at their level.
Principal Omar Ridley-Field of Mack Elementary said that the school got involved with Read Across America when he “saw it at another school, thought it was a great idea, and I brought it to Mack and we put our “Mack Magic” on it and made it our own.” He said that the program is beneficial because “it is another way that we engage our students and our community in the work of becoming great readers.”
The annual event helps to motivate young readers to read all year long and Charles Mack stands tall in its promotion of literacy and reading at their school by actively participating and celebrating Read Across America annually. In doing their part to attract more avid readers, the library at Charles Mack is now stocked with a cultural and heritage section which honors the myriad of ethnicities at the school and connects students to stories that represent their cultures and backgrounds. Principal Ridley-Field is clearly proud of his school and said, “Read Across America day is one of the many things we are doing at Mack to ensure that we educate the whole child through equitable practices, exemplary instruction, and a partnership with Charles Mack families.”
Read Across America is just one aspect of the robust reading program at Charles Mack. Teachers support students through guided reading strategies and expert intervention throughout the day and students that have made progress in guided reading every trimester are recognized. Charles Mack has a strong independent reading program that provides awards, trips, and golden horseshoe t-shirts to students who reach benchmarks at different points of the year.