‘All Suffolk Reads’ scheme seeks to improve literacy – The Suffolk News-Herald

‘All Suffolk Reads’ program seeks to improve literacy

Posted 6:06 PM on Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Suffolk Public Schools have partnered with All District Reads to launch the ‘All Suffolk Reads’ program from October 21.

On this day, pupils and their families from all elementary schools in Suffolk read and discussed together the children’s book “Cleo Edison Oliver, Playground Millionaire”, by Sundee T. Frazier for several weeks.

SPS is the first local school system to partner with All District Reads. The model aims to build excitement around reading by having school divisions invite children and their families to read two books together each year.

Founded by veteran educator and literacy promoter Gary Anderson, All District Reads is a Virginia-based nonprofit organization dedicated to Lighting Literacy Fires among Families.

“We believe that getting children to read for enjoyment is the missing piece of the puzzle,” SPS Superintendent Dr. John B. Gordon III said in a press release. “We are delighted to partner with All District Reads.”

Students receive their books and watch a videotaped reading of Gordon’s first chapter during launch day events on October 21 for All Suffolk Reads. Other school officials, business leaders and members of local Rotary clubs participate in community activities that support the concept of family literacy.

Through the program, families read and discuss a chapter from the book each evening for a period of three and a half weeks. The schools support the program with quizzes, spiritual activities and many surprises. Additionally, Nutrition Services hosts weekly coffees where participating students will win prizes. In a culminating event on November 18, a few lucky students will win bigger prizes donated by local businesses/organizations.

Suffolk Rotary Clubs and local businesses have provided funds so that every elementary school family in Suffolk Public Schools will receive their own copy of the first book: ‘Cleo Edison Oliver, Playground Millionaire’.

Families also receive a free resource guide with the book. The aim is to help children develop a love of reading by stimulating family reading and discussion of books.

Virginia Beach City Public Schools is next to launch programs under the All VB Reads banner next spring, with other school divisions in discussions to launch the program.

To find out more about the All Suffolk Reads program, contact Melvin Bradshaw at melvinbradshaw@spsk12.net, and to find out more about All District Reads, go to alldistrictreads.org.

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