Reading Program brings Metz-Sanchez students, community together

Communities In Schools Program Manager Marjorie Villafranco at Metz-Sanchez Elementary collaborated with Sarah Harrell, the school’s Bilingual Specialist and PTO President, and the school’s faculty and administrative team, to bring the Super Readers/Super Lectores program to campus. Metz-Sanchez does not have a librarian this school year, and one of the school’s goals is to improve reading scores. The Super Readers/Super Lectores program is designed to give students access to books, instill in them a love for reading, and provide opportunities for family engagement.

Every student receives free books on Monday during lunch. The books are clean, and set on display to prevent the spread of germs. A cart is rolled outside for remote learners to access their free books. The entire school is using a reading chart tracking system and every teacher on campus set reading goals for their classes. Teachers identify students who would benefit from more opportunities for reading time, and nearly 60 students each week participate in the Communities In Schools lunch bunch reading groups.

The program has three levels of incentives to keep students engaged. Pizza Hut’s reading program allows students who meet their reading goals to get a free, personal pizza. CIS also provides small incentives such as toys and games for teachers to give out weekly. There is a weekly raffle for students identified as “super readers” by teachers, for items like Lego sets and science kits.

During Family Reading Nights/Noches de Cuentos, the school brings in guest readers to read a book to the entire school in a virtual setting. During these reading nights, students are invited to read short poems.

Marjorie Villafranco says, “We use every possible opportunity to remind students, teachers and parents about Super Readers/Super Lectores, including our newsletter, announcements, and word of mouth. CIS is new to this campus, and the reading program is helping me connect with students and families. Students get so excited when they pick out their new books, and they are proud to tell me how they read to their younger siblings, or found a new type of book that they like, or reached a new reading goal.”