Looking to contribute something meaningful during this new year? Do you have a little time to spare during the week? Are you interested in positively affecting the lives of children by giving them the gift of literacy? If so, a new program over at Meneley Elementary School may be just the thing for you.
Working in conjunction with the Douglas County Public Library, the school is implementing the "Share a Book" program as a way to foster community involvement and help students develop an appreciation and love of reading. Volunteers are needed one day a week (or more) to come into the school and read aloud to kindergarten and first grade classes. The goal is to gradually extend the program into other grades as well.
Volunteers will be trained in the "Balanced Literacy" approach implemented by teachers, which will reinforce strategies and concepts that children are learning in the classroom. A special orientation and training session will be held at the school on Jan. 23 from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. All ages are welcome. In addition, all volunteers will need to be fingerprinted.
Teacher Bonnie Silsby will lead the training session, which is required in order to volunteer for this program. Over the last six years she has taught third and fourth grades and she also acted as Meneley's literacy advisor from 2004-2006. In addition to her regular classroom assignment, she attended monthly meetings to enhance her knowledge of literacy and then passed on what she'd learned to her fellow teachers.
Though she opted to take this year off to be with her one-year-old daughter, she remains active and involved in the school and along with principal Brian Frazier, has been instrumental in getting this program off the ground.
If you are interested in learning more about volunteering or attending the special training session on Jan. 23, please contact Meneley at 265-3154. You will be asked to leave your name and phone number when you call.
The school is located at 1446 Muir Drive in the Ranchos.
n Amy Roby can be reached by e-mail at RanchosRoundup@hotmail.com