Students Learn about the Importance of Reading

Read Across America is a national day recognizing the importance of reading. Reading is something that children don't always enjoy doing, but parents can help their children become avid readers by making reading a priority at home.

Ramona Adcock, librarian at Conehatta Elementary, says reading at home gives children a love for reading. "Some children just naturally have a love for reading, and a lot of that comes from home, that they were read to at home and that books were important in their home life."

Reading skills naturally begin to develop during the first grade.

Casey Rowzee, a first grade teacher at Conehatta, tells us, "When they come from Kindergarten, they just basically know their letters, their sounds, they're learning some blends. Towards the end of first grade, they can really read books and sentences, and you see them being really proud of their self because they've come so far. They don't just read words anymore. They can read a whole sentence or a whole book."

The importance of reading is also stressed by teachers who make it a priority.

"And try to stress to them that reading is important. I try to let them see me reading. I like them to see me doing things that include reading so that they know it's important. I'm still doing it," says Rowzee.

Students at Conehatta have a unique skill in that they are bilingual in English and Choctaw, so to preserve their Choctaw heritage, more and more books are being added in their native language.

Adcock tells us, "There is a group of people in Pearl River that are translating into the Choctaw language that they've done Bibles and things lately. We have some smaller books that are in their native language."

Students also hear their native language spoken everyday from teaching assistants.