Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Barrows Summer Updates

Hello Barrows Families!

I hope you are enjoying your summer so far!  I have had wonderful time outside with my family and have also been doing a lot of work at our school including getting classrooms ready for next year, attending meetings and trainings, and planning curriculum, instruction, and schedules for the next year.  If you would like to join me, I would love to hear from some of our Barrows Community!  I am hosting a playground popsicle party outside at the Barrows playground on Wednesday, July 29th from 12:30-1:30.  Come on by, play on the playground, and enjoy a cold treat!  (Rain date is Thursday, July 30th, same time.)  For adults only – come join us for a parent’s coffee and conversation with me on Wednesday, July 5th from 9:15-10:30am in the Barrows library/office.  Hope to see some of you soon!

I am also wanted to share some updates with our Barrows Community;

·         The construction of the modulars happens off site and is moving along quite well, and the work of installing our modulars onsite has begun. Construction fencing was installed on the blacktop this past week and they have begun digging for the foundations at Killiam.  Digging will be starting here soon.

We welcome new staff members to the Barrows community;

·         Mary Spinosa-Halady will be our new Learning Center teacher joining us from Billerica where she was in a learning center position for 5 years.

·         Bethany Granoth is joining us as our .5 Kindergarten teacher, coming to us from Topsfield last year where she spent the year in Kindergarten and 1st grade as a student teacher and long-term sub in 2nd grade.

·         Andrew Herlihy will be joining us as one of our 5th grade teachers, in homeroom 2119, previously in the role of regular education tutor at Barrows with experience as an administrator running the extended day program in Malden.

·         Marissa Holt will be our other new 5th grade teacher, homeroom 2121.  She joins us from Coolidge where she was a 6th grade science teacher and 8th grade robotics teacher last year.

Summer reading incentives are ongoing! See the information below for the exciting components of our summer reading incentives to ensure that the only “slide” for our students this summer is water slides!  To encourage reading – students can watch me reading “Blueberries for Sal” for one of their points on their reading star!  Check it out here:

Also – has your child “been caught reading”?  Check out the Alice M. Barrows Facebook page for some of our Shining Stars that have been caught reading this summer – add pictures of your readers!

Happy Summer everybody!
~Mrs. Heather Leonard

As we approach the summer break, many of you may be asking how you can keep your children engaged.  Simply stated, children who read during the summer gain reading skills, while those who do not often slide backward.   A conservative estimate of lost instructional time is approximately two months or roughly 22 percent of the school year.  Summer slide affects millions of children each year in this country—but it doesn't have to.   Below is a list of activities and programs we can do to combat the summer slide!

Reading Public Library

Every Hero Has a Story
On Thursday, June 4th children’s librarians, Ms. Fisher and Ms. Wettergreen, from the Reading Public Library visited Barrows and spoke to the children about the summer reading program.  This year’s program is Every Hero Has a Story and it begins on Monday, June 22nd.  Please stop by the library to register for the program or visit the website.


Book Mates

Book Mates is a reading buddy program that gives children in grades 1 – 4 an opportunity to practice reading with a teen!  The program begins July 14th and runs through August 6th with sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays between the hours of 1:30 and 5:00.  Please visit the website for more information and an application! 


Kids Earn a Free Book!

If children read eight books (beginning May 19th through September 7th) they earn a free book, from a preselected list, from Barnes & Noble.   Please visit the website for more information.

Massachusetts Children’s Book Award Program

All Barrows’ students in grades 4 and 5 are eligible to participate in the Massachusetts Children’s Book Award Program (MCBA).  This fall will be the 21st year the students of Barrows have participated!  In preparation all students currently in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade will be given a book mark listing the 2016 nominees.  In addition we explained the program to the current 3rd grade as this is the first time they are eligible to participate.  We have at least three copies of each of the 25 titles thanks to the generosity and support of the Barrows’ PTO.


Star Readers

Our Shining Stars will go home this summer with a few extra stars!  Each child will receive a star template and will record their name in the center of the star and on each point of the star the name of a book they’ve read during the summer.  During the first week of school they will bring back the stars and they will be displayed proudly.


Caught Reading

We are encouraging Barrows’ students and staff to take pictures of themselves reading throughout the summer and post their pictures to the official school Facebook page: “Alice M Barrows Elementary School”


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