Beginning March 13 elementary students across Northampton will experience the magic of reading with the launch of the All Northampton Reads program. Students and their families in both of Northampton’s elementary schools will read and discuss the children’s book EllRay Jakes Is Magic by Sally Warner together over several weeks. The program is run in partnership with All District Reads, with funding provided by the Cape Charles Rotary Club and the Northampton County Education Foundation.
NCPS Superintendent Dr. Lisa L. Martin told the Mirror, “Northampton County Public Schools is very excited to create a literacy partnership with our families, schools, and communities. We recognize the importance of supporting our young readers to become readers for life. NCPS is fortunate to partner with the Rotary Club and the Northampton County Education Foundation to support this opportunity focused on lighting the fires of literacy. Recognizing that parents are our student’s first teachers, NCPS is excited about promoting this literacy partnership. Recognizing that opportunities in which parents are reading along with their students, listening to their students read to them, and asking questions reinforces the importance of lifelong learning and a love for literacy.
Opportunities such as these, spark the fires of family engagement, the love of reading, and the importance of lifelong literacy. One of my favorite quotes is by Mem Fox, author of Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever. embraces the importance of reading together. “The fire of literacy is created by the emotional sparks between a child, a book, and the person reading. It isn’t achieved by the book alone, nor by the child alone, nor by the adult who’s reading aloud—it’s the relationship winding between all three, bringing them together in easy harmony.” Together, we will make a difference in the lives of our students.”
Students will receive their books at a launch event on March 13. Throughout the program, families will read and discuss one chapter each night from the book for a period of three and a half weeks. Schools will support the program with trivia contests and other activities.
Thanks to funding provided by the Cape Charles Rotary Club and the Northampton County Education Foundation, all elementary families in both of Northampton’s elementary schools will receive their own copy of EllRay Jakes is Magic. Families also will receive a free family reading guide along with the book. The goal is to help children develop a love of reading by stimulating family reading and discussion of books.
Below, School Board, Staff, and Cape Charles Rotary Club volunteers hold a ‘Label Party’ to get books ready for the event: