Monday, February 24, 2014

Updates 2/24/14

Wiley Updates 2/24/14

Read Across America Week at Wiley, in honor of Dr. Suess's Birthday
Building a Community of Readers at Wiley
Get ready to make green eggs and ham! Read Across America Day coincides each year with Dr. Seuss’s birthday, which this year will take be celebrated on Monday, March 3rd. Billed as “the nation’s largest reading party,” schools across the country will hold events on this day, and all week long, to celebrate storytelling and advance literacy. As they did last year, the Read Across America program is bringing awareness to the relationship between literacy and oral health. Studies have shown a connection between poor oral hygiene, absenteeism and lowered academic performance. When dental pain keeps children from attending school, they miss instruction in reading.  
At Wiley, we will be celebrating Read Across America in a series of events that will take place throughout the week of March 3-8. In years past, we have done a school-wide reading incentive program that encouraged students to reach individual reading goals. This year we are going to switch our focus from the individual to the community. Homerooms will compete with each other in a series of challenges that encourage them to dress up as their favorite characters, collect toothbrushes for those in need, and bring in their overdue library books. Classrooms who win these challenges will be entered to win the grand prize: a classroom visit by the therapy dogs from the See Spot Read program. Events during the week will also include stop, drop & read time and book talks by our librarian. 
What better way to investigate the world and recognize perspectives than through reading? As Dr. Seuss said, “Oh, the places you’ll go!” By establishing the connection between literacy and oral health and asking students to donate toothbrushes, we are taking action for a cause. We hope that you will encourage your child to participate in the Read across America events and to see him or herself as part of a greater community of readers both at Wiley and at home.  
Read Across America Events, March 3-8
Monday, March 3: Newly purchased books will be displayed in the library and ready for check out! Ms. Molloy will visit as many classrooms as possible to book talk these new books.
Tuesday, March 4: Dress up as your favorite book character today! Prizes will be given for the best teacher and teaching team costumes. The class with the most participation will be entered in a prize drawing.
Wednesday, March 5: Promote literacy by bringing in a new toothbrush in its original packaging. The class with the most toothbrushes donated will be entered into a prize drawing.
Thursday, March 6: Bring in your overdue books! The class with the least number of overdue books by the end of the school day will be entered into a prize drawing.
Friday, March 7: Winners of all the classroom challenges and the See Spot Read drawing will be announced today!

Read to Achieve Parent Information Session this week
Tuesday, February 25th, at 6:30pm (in the media center) Mrs. McMillan will present information about the Read to Achieve law and implementation for third grade students. District information can be found HERE. The target audience for the session is third grade parents, however, everyone is welcome to attend. 

A Child's Character Matters at Wiley
Guest Blog Post by our school psychologist, Dr. Mary Whitehouse, and school counselor, Judy Williams
Have you ever wondered how much a child’s character development is linked to his or her eventual success later in life?  Paul Tough reports in his book “How Children Succeed,” (2012) that “soft skills” including grit, character and curiosity, are even more important than cognitive skills.  Current research is showing that academic indicators (SAT scores and class rank) are weaker in predicting college performance than measures of a student’s character traits, including responsibility, determination, and perseverance.   To truly equip our Wiley students with the global skills needed to investigate the world, recognize others’ perspectives, communicate ideas and take action, we must recognize that academic skills and character development are critically intertwined.

At Wiley, we purposely teach students eight character traits (Responsibility, Respect, Courage, Kindness, Self-Discipline, Integrity, Perseverance and Good Judgment) and encourage you to reinforce these traits at home as well. One way to help develop these skills is to allow your children to make choices (that are, of course, developmentally appropriate and ones with which you can live) and to experience the consequences—good or bad—of those choices. Allow your children to experience failure, especially now when there are caring adults (namely you) who can help him or her process and learn from the experience—and while the stakes are relatively lower. Encourage your child to tackle the hard task and stick with it until they have reached its end. When we experience success or satisfaction after putting in hard work, it has a positive effect on our brain chemistry such that our level of motivation to do a given task, even when it seems there is no reward, actually increases.  As parents, we naturally want to provide for and protect our children, but we sometimes rush in to protect them from failure.  Instead, allowing them to experience some hardship, challenge, and even failure will enable them to develop strong character and those “soft skills” that are difficult to measure but noticeably important. 

Wiley PTA Updates
Talent Show a Success
Thanks to the Talent Show team for a great evening with two separate talent shows! The acts were great, and the audience loved seeing all of the star Wiley performers. Thanks so much to all of the fabulous volunteers who made the event a success! 
Boosterthon—Volunteers Needed on Thursday 2/27
The Boosterthon Committee is thrilled with progress to date on fundraising! While we can't share numbers until all donations are collected and finalized, suffice it to say that the event will be successful in bringing a significant amount of new technology to Wiley.

The Boosterthon committee needs volunteers this Thursday to help with the big run! Please click on the link below to sign up! 
Also, don’t forget to help your child get pledges for the run. You have until 2/27 to solicit pledges.