BAKER First-grade teacher Kay O'Neal knows students' reading skills have to be sharper than ever.


BAKER First-grade teacher Kay O'Neal knows students' reading skills have to be sharper than ever.



"There are very rigorous standards with the Common Core (State Standards)," the Baker School teacher said. Students "not only have to read it but (also) understand it, interact with it and compare it with another text."



That's why kindergartners and first-graders must advance their literacy now.



For Literacy Week, O'Neal's class made decorative bookmarks, which will be useful for students' next challenge: chapter books.



Logan Godwin, 6, said he anticipates perusing bigger books.



"I'm looking forward to it very much ... because there are multiple stories within them ... it's an adventure," he said.



Rebecca Logan, 6, said she enjoys sharing that adventure with her two siblings.



"I usually read baby books to my brother," she said.



Elaine Cawthon, a school volunteer, says parents should be involved with their children's after-school reading time.  



"I wish all parents had the time and would take the time to make books the focus of a child's life," she said.



"There is nothing like the turning of pages, the sharing and the bond parents build with their children when they share a book."



Email News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown, follow him on Twitter or call 850-682-6524.