Parents can help kids build literacy skills, program says

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Walker Elementary School Principal Jeanine Kirkland, left, flanks parent Krystal Reynolds following Love.Read.Learn!, an event that occurred at the school earlier this month. Pictured also are students Matthew Mitchell, Alyssa Williams, Mason Joseph, Javon Reynolds and Easton Fuller.

Special to the News Bulletin
Published: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 06:52 PM.

CRESTVIEW — Walker Elementary school wants another Love.Read.Learn! session for parents of kindergartners through second-graders following positive feedback and satisfactory attendance from February’s workshop.

Fifty parents participated in the program — managed by the Volunteer USA Foundation, part of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy — that aims to teach parents how to enhance their children’s literacy.

The goal is to enhance kids’ phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension skills, according to Okaloosa County Schools. Most material covered at the event was based on information gathered by the National Reading Panel. The NRP was created in 1997, with the help of Congress, to find effective ways to educate children in reading.

"We discussed ways to be aware of strengths and weaknesses in their children's education," said Renee Rogers, one of the school's Title 1 teachers.

Parents were introduced to educational games that they could play with their children to boost literacy, Rogers said.

Each family received a free backpack with educational materials, including books, flash cards and markers, along with materials for parents.

"It was really a training session for the parents," Principal Jeanine Kirkland said. "It went really well, we got a lot of good feedback from the parents."

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