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Madison elementary youngsters find bright side of reading

Enjoying the beautiful spring weather, families at Madison Elementary School gathered on the school lawn for "Summer Reading is a Picnic." (CONTRIBUTED)
Enjoying the beautiful spring weather, families at Madison Elementary School gathered on the school lawn for “Summer Reading is a Picnic.” (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Books and sunshine meshed to give a great family outing for the student body at Madison Elementary School.

“We had a family picnic and summer book fair that was a hit,” Madison Elementary Assistant Principal Britt Lovelace said. The theme for the event on May 1 was “Summer Reading is a Picnic.”

“What a great day for a picnic!” media specialist Shanna Edgar said. “The weather was perfect.”

“Families brought blankets, books and lunches to enjoy with their child (or children) during their lunch time,” Edgar said. The green lawn and towering shade trees at Madison elementary, the oldest campus in the Madison City Schools district, served as a perfect backdrop for a spring outing.

After eating, families and friends gathered together and read books. “Families with children in multiple classrooms shared lunch times so they could visit together,” Edgar said.

Edgar overhead several students commenting about the picnic: “I liked that I got to eat my ice cream first, because we were outside and it was going to melt.” “My friends Will and Josh sat with me on my blanket.” “My mom brought Arby’s and read me a story during lunch.”

Before or after enjoying lunch, the Madison elementary parents and children shopped at the BOGO book fair. “The school did not gain profit from the sales. This event simply provided an opportunity for families to purchase summer reading materials at low prices,” Edgar said.

Even as young as elementary age, students receive a listing of recommended books for summer reading at each grade level. Teachers attach a list to the child’s end-of-the-year report card.

Edgar and classroom teachers encourage parents to practice ‘fry words’ during the summer. Fry words, or ‘instant words,’ occur frequent in reading and writing; to increase reading fluency, children can learn to identify fry words by sight.

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