Reading Week comes to Seeliger | NevadaAppeal.com
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Reading Week comes to Seeliger

by Maggie O'Neill
Appeal Staff Writer
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Seeliger Elementary School student Nevin Elliott, 10, and his classmates in LIsa Lemburg's fourth-grade class celebrate Tuesday morning after winning the trophy for having the most fourth-grade students read at home. The school is promoting literacy week with activities focused on reading.
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Improving reading scores is one of the objectives Seeliger Elementary School officials listed on this year’s plan after the school failed last year to meet standards set by the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

And they’re hoping to score a touchdown with “Score One for Reading” this week.

On Tuesday, they wore the gear representative of their favorite sport. A marathon runner, cheerleader, golfer and tennis player came together in the second-grade classroom of teacher Carol Antila.

Today is “idiom day,” meaning children will dress to fit expressions like “he let the cat out of the bag,” “break a leg” or “they have their head in the clouds.”

Each year, Seeliger dedicates at least one week to reading.

“It’s important to involve kids in reading not just at school, but in reading at home and to involve the parents and build that community connection,” said Joyce Cavanaugh, the reading specialist at Seeliger.

On Thursday night, a Reading Night is planned with 20-minute intervals at different stations. The book fair will be open the whole time.

Although the majority of Seeliger’s students passed the standardized tests, three sub-groups – Hispanic, limited-English proficiency and special education – failed. Under the No Child Left Behind act, that causes the entire school to fail.

Three of the district’s six elementary schools use the Success For All reading program, coming out of Johns Hopkins University, but Seeliger uses a program called “Students Achieving in Learning” or SAIL to help students catch up to grade-level achievement. The after-school program is for children identified in need of help by their teachers.

Students are rotated through on a semester basis, and the teacher-to-student ratio is 16-to-1. After-school instruction occurs from 3-4:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

“We monitor the students by the test scores and invite them to attend, but it’s up to the parents,” Cavanaugh said.

During the school day, students in need of help in reading receive 45 minutes of intense instruction.

“You see great strides,” said Cavanaugh, who’s been the reading specialist for two years. “It’s incredible what it does.”

Third- and fifth-grade test scores count toward No Child Left Behind at the elementary school level. For more on the district’s test scores, see http://www.nevadareportcard.com on the Internet.

Some students, like fifth-grader Wendy Howard, don’t need extra encouragement to read. She was in the office Monday after her name was randomly selected for a $5-off coupon for the book fair.

“I love to read,” she said. “I read every night.”

• Contact reporter Maggie O’Neill at moneill@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.

If you go

WHAT: Reading Night

WHEN: 6-8 p.m. Thursday

WHERE: Seeliger Elementary School, 2800 S. Saliman Road

CALL: 283-2200