Students look forward to Drop Everything And Read
Karen Sudu, Gleaner Writer
GINGER RIDGE, St Catherine:IN A blog titled 'Nine Tips to Get Kids and Teens to READ! (and even like it!)' Dr Michele Borba, education consultant and child expert indicated that studies have confirmed that children who love to read are more likely to not only succeed in school, but also in the workplace.
While unaware of this finding, the grade six students at Ginger Ridge All-Age School, perched in the hills in West Central St Catherine, look forward to Drop Everything And Read (DEAR), every day after lunch.
"DEAR is centred around children learning to read yes, but also to reinforce what they have read, have learnt over a period, probably on the day, on a particular topic," Patrinia Archer, grade six teacher explained to The Gleaner.
"Sometimes they are asked to read books that they want to read, but more so, when they write their stories, they read them to the class and their classmates will listen and critique the stories, highlighting the positives and the negatives, so out of that it builds their writing skills, it also builds their self-confidence," she added.
DEAR is not unique to grade six, as all the grades have scheduled sessions for this activity.
For 12-year-old Britney Blake who aspires to become a teacher, DEAR helped to enhance her preparation for the recent Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), which was held last month.
"It has helped me with my grammar and to express myself better, especially in social studies and communication task," the Jonathan Grant High School aspirant said.
With much enthusiasm, the youngster attested to her teacher's testimony that the programme has served as a means of enhancing their writing skills.
Helping to unleash creativity
"I started writing poems in grade four and Drop Everything and Read has helped me even more when I write. I can also make charts. I do not make the charts to beautify the classroom, I make them for the children to learn," said Blake proudly, pointing to a chart depicting the structure of the Earth which she created.
Her classmates, 11-year-old Shanice Campbell, whose ambition is to become a bank accountant and Khalil Burrell, an aspiring soldier, lauded DEAR, which they said helped to boost their lessons.
"Drop Everything And Read helps me to reflect on what Ms Archer teaches me in class and helps me to remember my lessons. I also write Anancy stories and my favourite is Anancy and the Goat Head Soup, and even though I want to be a soldier, I would still write stories," Burrell, whose dream is to be listed among the first-formers at Calabar High when the GSAT results are published, shared with The Gleaner.
Over the years, students have gained places at traditional high schools such as, St Catherine, St Jago, Glenmuir and Merl Grove.