Literacy Initiatives at W.A. Perry
Currently, we have the following initiatives in place with the guiding principle being that reading programs encourage a life-long love of reading! The W.A. Perry reading initiative includes school-wide reading activities, use of reading logs to track independent reading, and bi-yearly author visits. Featured authors have included Kwame Alexander (December 2016) and Angie Thomas (January 2019). In conjunction with the University Of South Museum Of Education and the Richland County Public Library, on February 21, 2020 students had the opportunity to hear Jason Reynold share his story and passion for young people. He is a New York Times bestselling author, a Newbery Award honoree, a Printz Award honoree, a National Book Award finalist, a Kirkus Award winner, a two-time Walter Dean Myers Award winner, a NAACP Image Award winner, and the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors.February is “Love of Literacy Month” at W.A. Perry. Our students participate in the "Read a Book in a Day” initiative. We use this book as a read aloud so all students hear the same content at the same time, participate in heterogeneous groups, hear a fluent reader, and participate in rich discussions and projects with their peers. Additionally, we also participate in the National African-American Read-In Day. The National African American Read-In is the nation’s first and oldest event dedicated to diversity in literature. It was established in 1990 by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English to make literacy a significant part of Black History Month.W.A. Perry students are encouraged to participate in the Read with Gamecocks and/or the Fireflies Reading programs. With both, students have opportunities to win tickets to attend games and events.The media center makes available customized reading lists for students using their Lexile scores from the most recent Reading Inventory test. The books nominated for the South Carolina Junior Book Awards are available in the media center and students are encouraged to vote for their favorite.At W.A. Perry each of our students has a book of choice in their backpacks at all times. Our ELA teachers and media specialist make sure of it. Choice is so important when it comes to reading. It doesn’t matter what they are reading, all that matters is they ARE reading.Students participate in independent reading daily which allows free choice reading time with our selection of books from classroom libraries and our media center.We conduct an ongoing teacher professional learning community that focusses on reading and literacy strategies.Project Lit Book Club is now in its fourth year at W.A. Perry. Project Lit Book Club is a national, grassroots literacy movement active in over 500 schools and 40 states. It is a network of dedicated educators and students who are committed to increasing more access to culturally relevant books and promoting a love of reading in our schools and communities. The book club meets monthly after school in the media center. Books are also made available for checkout for students who do not participate in the club.We encourage our Eagles to Read, Read, Read their Way to New Heights! The benefits of reading can be life changing.