Erquiaga reads to NELC students |

Erquiaga reads to NELC students

Christine Kuklica
In the spirit of Nevada's 150 birthday Dale Erquiaga, superintendent of public instruction, has been making his way to schools across Nevada to read to students and spead the importance of reading. Erquiaga had the privilege to read to Brad Whitaker's kindergarten class at Northside Early Learning Center.

In celebration of Nevada’s 150 birthday, Gov. Brian Sandoval and his staff are traveling to 150 schools in Nevada to spread the importance of reading.

Dale Erquiaga, superintendent of Public Instruction, stopped by Northside Early Learning Center Monday morning and read, “On Mother’s Lap” to Brad Whitaker’s kindergarten class.

“We started this process almost a year ago,” Erquiaga said. “By the end of this week, we will have visited 120 schools and by Oct. 31, we will have visited the other 30 schools left on our list.”

Erquiaga, a Fallon native, told the students he attended school at the NELC building. He informed students that Nevada became a state in 1864 on Halloween and President Abraham Lincoln signed the papers that gave Nevada statehood.

The goal of Erquiaga and administrative representatives is to help celebrate Nevada’s birthday by promoting literacy and to visit schools to see how students are doing.

“When we visit the schools it helps to puts an emphasis on understanding state history and literacy,” Erquiaga said. “It’s also important for me to see the schools since I’m a hands on learner. Every school in the state is different; I will visit a one-room schoolhouse this week and by the end of month, visit a comprehensive school with 3,000 students. Our state and the schools in the state are very diverse and for me to do my job properly, it is important for me to see visit them.”

It’s good for Erquiaga to visit the schools and see what’s going on, said Dr. Sandra Sheldon, Churchill County School District superintendent.

“Dale represents the schools at a state and national level and he is part of the state superintendents organization and he advocates at a national level for public education,” Sheldon said. “It’s really important for him to see what’s happening at the ground roots and he’s able to communicate what he finds at a verity of different levels.”

NELC principal Gregg Malkovich said teachers enjoy showing off what the students they teach are doing and learning.

Sheldon said reading helps to increase vocabulary at a young age and helps with understand how language works. She said reading gives children a broad vocabulary and expands the number of words children hear and know. Reading shows the structure of language and how the English language is structured. Sheldon said it also helps with writing and communication.