“There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these
is roots; the other, wings.”Hodding Carter
The Reading Celebration at Andrew Robinson Elementary was attended by characters
from storybooks ranging from the Cat In The Hat, High School Musical, Clifford The
Big Red Dog, Naruto, Star Wars, Captain Under Pants, Spiderman, Billy Goat Gruff,
Skippy John Jones, Ramona Quimby, other novels, kids books and works of fiction
and nonfiction. Grades Pre-K to fifth experience the joy, excitement and imagination
gained from reading diverse books. ARE embraces reading that opens doors to the
imagination, has a lifelong value and direct impact on future success academically
and career choices.
The pictures from the recent Reading Celebration shows the value reading has and the
inclusiveness of all grades in the celebration. Involving the community has been one
of the wonderful traits of Andrew Robinson Elementary. Being a community school,
Title One and Magnet School, community involvement is critical to the success of the
students. The reading parade through the neighborhood provided an opportunity for the
community to see great successes ongoing at ARE. Lead by Media Specialists
Mrs. Nancy Rentz AKA Fancy Nancy, Principal Crystal Lewis the celebration was
fun, culturally awakening and equally inclusive of all grades.
Reading Coach, Mrs. Walsh-Lopez provides professional development that assists
teachers with empowering tools encourage reading by students, using data to guide
appropriate instruction. Using the Family Engagement Center (Nicky Crawford,
Title I Parent Liaison) to encourage parents to promote reading at home. Offering free
workshops, seminars and classroom visits so that parents have access to tools that they
can use at home. The schools “Blast Off To College Preparation” theme instills in
the young minds of students even in Pre-K that college is a possibility not an impossible
goal. Embedding in youthful minds that they are capable of graduating high school and
attending colleges like their role models that they see every day (their teachers).
Inclusive to reading are visits by motivational speakers like Deonte Bridges, Dr. Johnny
Gaffney (City Council Member), Attorney Kevin Cobbin, Authors (Heather Surface
and Jane Word). The developing mentoring relationships with Jacksonville Giants and
other local businesses provide a chance for professionals in the community to contribute
and give emphasis to the importance of reading. This takes the term, “It takes a village to
raise leaders” to a new level of accountability.
Andrew Robinson Elementary Schools success is the product of administrators, faculty,
staff and support personnel, taking responsibility and ownership for the learning of all
students. “Reading is Fundamental” to the success of all students, from 3year old
PreK students to rising middle school students of the fifth grade graduating class.
National and district reading scores have shown that early success in reading leads
to academic success from elementary school to high school. Those students that are
reading on grade level are more likely to graduate high school and enroll in college.
Andrew Robinson Elementary embraces the concept NOW – “No Opportunity Wasted”
for instruction. Learning is continuous, comprehensive and fun..There is the use of
exploration, ownership of learning and strategies, rituals and routines.
Students are taught to take advantage of every moment to learn. ARE will also
implement the Ride and Read Program from the Jacksonville Public Library
http://jpl.coj.net/lib/r2rprogram.html – where students flash there library card and
receive a coupon to hop on a JTA bus. Look at the joy and excitement of the
students as they participate in celebrating reading. This is not from video games,
monetary rewards, grades on report cards or other incentives. The pure desire to
become great readers and given the opportunity to show what they (students)
William Jackson, M.Ed.
Invitation to visit Andrew Robinson Elementary