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Linda Mah
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Washington Celebrates End of Summer

Books, Math and Field Day Fun

Books for Breaks: Promoting Reading During Breaks

Washington Writers’ Academy celebrated the end of its first session just before Labor Day by sending students home with bags of books to encourage reading. Each student in PEEP through fifth grade received one age-appropriate or reading level-appropriate book for each day of the break that was a traditional school day. The school sent home 1,524 books.

Principal Lanisha Hannah-Spiller said the plan is to distribute books for all major breaks.

Students can keep the books to start family libraries. Students will be asked to log their reading hours and write about their favorite book. They can earn prizes for their logs and reading after the break. When students returned to school after Labor Day, they turned in their logs and journals, and their names were entered into a drawing for a special mystery prize. PEEP student Robbilynne Herndon won the first Books for Breaks drawing.

“In the past, we had a book room full of donated books or readers left over from older reading series,” Hannah-Spiller said. “This room now has over 10,000 books. Teachers would use this room for their students to check out additional books that they could take home to read and library books would be kept at school to read.

“Many students wanted to keep the books and we would let them. In speaking with parents and students, we found many do not have family libraries. We thought this would be a great way to keep students focused on reading while on their breaks and a way to assist with building family libraries in the homes of all of our children.”

Guest teachers and longtime Washington supporter Deb Weesies sorted and bagged the books for the children.

“We want to instill lifelong learning by way of becoming lifelong readers,” said Hannah Spiller, who hopes to make the book giveaway a tradition.

Math Family Fun and Field Day

Washington Writers’ Academy was looking for a way to combine math knowledge, family participation, and a fun school activity, and from that idea the school started the Math Family Fun and Field Day. The project was developed by teachers Aaron Mason and Ally Bracken.

The first one was held in the spring of 2017, with plans for it to become an end-of-the-year tradition. But when the school became part of the Summer Slide Reduction Pilot and moved to a calendar that runs throughout the year, the staff moved the event to the break right before Labor Day. It helped help mark the first break of the school year and to celebrate the completion of the school’s first testing cycle.

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