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Teaching assistant Dawn Rocak, left, reads with Daniel Indra, Lyjanay Mortensen, Nevaeh Mortensen and Evie Oliff, from right, on Thursday during Lyle Elementary's "Love of Reading and Writing Night" in Dallas.
March 05, 2013
DALLAS -- The writing was on the wall at Lyle Elementary School Thursday evening.
Really -- posted on the wall of the school's gym were writing samples from selected classes, displayed for the school's "Love of Reading and Writing Night."
About 150 people -- students and their families -- attended the open house, where they could make silly hats out of newspaper, create personalized book marks, illustrate stories, and play a literary version of musical chairs -- all designed to make reading and writing fun.
In recent years, Dallas' elementary schools have increased emphasis on developing early reading and writing skills. Family outreach events are part of that effort, said Elaine Dunbar, Lyle's Title I specialist.
"This is a time parents can come see what the kids are doing and do (activities) with their kids," Dunbar said.
Lyle also had Elizabeth Rusch, a Portland-area author, visit the school Thursday for an after-school writing seminar with second- and third-graders. Her workshop gave students a peek at the life of an author and how she's made a living of writing about topics she is interested in.
"It's just another way to get kids motivated," said Dunbar.
First-grader Jordan Holmes only needed a newspaper hat with plenty of pink ribbon to get excited about "Love of Reading and Writing Night."
"This is her first activity of the night," said Jordan's mom, Beth Dorais, about 45 minutes into the open house. "She is serious about this hat.
"I think it's nice to get parents involved and give kids a chance to be silly," Dorais added.
Jordan's favorite books are those about "dogs and Dr. Suess." Her favorite? "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish."
"I like reading because sometimes you learn new things," she said.
Dunbar agrees, saying that is one of the reasons the elementary schools have focused so much on reading and writing.
Dawn Rocak, a Title I assistant at Lyle, said the emphasis is starting to pay off.
"This is probably the best turnout we've had," Roack said of the open house, adding she's also encouraged by the writing and reading skills students have been demonstrating this year. "It's so much better than it's ever been."