The Blue Mountain Reading Specialists invite all of the parents/guardians of the Title I students to attend an informational meeting. At this meeting, the parents are told about the Title I program, including how the money is determined, what the money is used for, what the different grade level programs are and how they are designed, and what teachers their child will be working with. There are refreshments and time for questions.
Back to School Night
The Title I Reading Specialists meet with parents of all children, not just specifically enrolled in the Title I Reading Program, at the Back to School Night to review expectations and components of the Fundations program for children in Kindergarten, first and second grade.
Summer Reading Packets
The Blue Mountain Title I Reading Specialists develop and update a Summer Reading Packet each spring to send home with the Title I students to help prevent regression over the summer months in both reading and writing. The packet includes web sites that provide educational activities, suggestions to parents to complete during the summer months, book lists of high quality literature and suggestions for building a literacy rich home.
Summer Reading List
At the end of each school year, the Blue Mountain School District posts a summer reading list for all elementary and middle school aged students. This list provides grade level appropriate books for children to read over the summer months.
DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) DIBELS Assessments are administered to students in grades kindergarten through fifth grade in our elementary schools three times a year to monitor student progress and growth.
Through the generous support of the Eagle Foundation an author/illustrator visits our elementary school buildings. The author/illustrator provides informational presentations specific to each grade level and an opportunity for signing books for interested students. These visits help to motivate students to read books by an assortment of worthwhile authors.
Here are some of the authors/illustrators that have visited our elementary schools over the years:
PA State Parent Advisory Council
The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) created the Title I State Parent Advisory Council (SPAC) in 1990. SPAC includes parents of children participating in Title I. The purpose of this council is to share ideas with the Division of Federal Programs about involving Title I parents to increase student achievement. SPAC parents advise PDE on many aspects of parent involvement-from working with children at home to developing partnerships among parents, teachers, administrators, and community leaders to create effective and engaging parent involvement programs. SPAC has three main goals:
To distribute information and share ideas that will increase parent participation in Title I programs.
To identify successful parent involvement programs that can become model for schools with limited parent involvement.
To give parents the skills and knowledge to become advocates for Title I children.
SPAC accomplishes these goals through three major activities:
An annual Title I parent training conference;
A statewide parent resource center;
Visits to Title I schools that request assistance in increasing parent involvement.
The Title I State Parent Advisory Council is funded with Title I State Administration Funds by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Division of Federal Programs through contract with Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV.
Blue Mountain Baby Book Bags
Our Reading Specialists in Title I provide families of the entire student body who are welcoming a new baby into their family with a Baby Book Bag. This bag contains a book about new babies, helpful hints on how to read to your children, a growth chart, and developmental reading stages. The bags are distributed to the students in the buildings who are going to be the big brother/big sister to take home to their new sibling. This encourages the students to read to their new family member.
Orwigsburg Free Public Library
The Orwigsburg Free Public Library offers a variety of literacy based activities for children of all ages. Activities are provided during the summer months, and throughout the school year to keep children reading all year long!
Kindergarten Skills Rings
Every kindergarten student in the Title I Reading Program receives a skills ring which consists of the letters of the alphabet that are being studied in the classrooms and Title I rooms. With their parents, the child reviews the letter name and sound for each of the letters included on their ring each night to enhance letter/sound recognition. The parent then signs the log and communicates any concerns or questions that arise while working with their child. These concerns are addressed by the Reading Specialist.
W.E.B. (Wonderfully Exciting Books) Bags
The Title I Reading Specialists send home books for the students to read on a nightly basis. The parents sign a log to show that the child has read that night. These books reinforce the skills learned each day in the classroom, including the areas of phonemic awareness, vocabulary, phonics, fluency, and comprehension.
Fundations Home Packets – Every student in kindergarten, first and second grade receives instruction using the Fundations program. Part of this program is parent involvement through the Home Packet. As new skills and concepts are taught; information, directions, and practice sheets are sent home with the students. These practice sheets provide the students with additional one-on-one instruction and review with the parents. Completed practice sheets should be returned to the classroom teacher for monitoring.
Fundations Writing Guidelines – The Fundations program uses specific writing paper to help students learn to form letters correctly. This paper consists of a template of 4 lines, the sky line, plane line, grass line and worm line. Students learn where each letter starts and use verbalizations to help them remember the correct letter formation. Included in the parent packet are verbalizations for each letter to help you use the same language as is used in their classroom to reinforce letter formation.
Fundations Letter/Keywords/Sounds – To help the students learn the letters and their sounds the Fundation program uses cards that have the capital and lower case letter, a picture clue and the sound the letter makes. The students drill these letters, keywords and sounds every day to help them learn this skill. It is very important that they learn the proper sound for each letter so as they progress they are able to use this skill to decode words and spell words correctly.