Weatherford Democrat

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June 23, 2013

Curtis Summer Checkout Center an instant success

It’s summertime. Students are sleeping in late, watching television, playing video games, swimming or playing outside.

Curtis Elementary Teacher-Librarian Shawna Ford wants to add reading books to this tedious list of “to-do” items.

Ford initiated the Summer Checkout Center, which was designed to offer Curtis students a chance to check out books in an effort to avoid the “summer slide.”

“The ‘summer slide’ is referred to those students who take the summer off from reading,” Ford said, “where they can lose up to six months of progress.”

Ford already has opened the school library twice this summer, and she said many students have taken advantage of reading books and/or using the library centers.

“This was meant to be a community outreach program,” Ford said. “Not only has it continued to help our students, but it also has introduced education and technology to many pre-school children.”

So far, Ford said an average of 38 people have visited the Checkout Center since it opened last week.

“I also plan on opening July 9 and July 23 from 9 a.m. to noon,” she added. “Our only means of advertising has been through the school’s Facebook page, a campus-wide callout message via the school’s SchoolMessenger notification system, and flyers were mailed home along with the students’ final report cards of the 2012-13 school year.”

Ford said several teachers have come up each week to read and visit with the students.

“The kids love this informal time with the teachers and administrators,” she added. “Last week, a student rode his scooter to school in order to hang out at the library…and he ended up working on a puzzle with Curtis Elementary Principal Racheal Rife and Assistant Principal Lorie Bratcher.”

“Many students don’t take advantage of the Weatherford Public Library,” Ford said. “I just wanted to give parents an easy way to get book in their child’s hands.”

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