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A new love of reading

by Jennifer Parker

LA VETA-  RE-2’s new 6th grade teacher, Tim Kratt, has introduced a program to his students, called “Mr. Kratt’s Reading Program.”  It is a partner/share concept to expose his class to reading as many books as possible and to reading books with different genres.  This is different from what the kids are normally accustomed to because they get to select their own reading material from the classroom and the school’s library.  Some kids even use books from the high school library if their reading level is advanced.

    Kratt has received an enthusiastic response because the kids are not expected to write a book report; instead they fill out a sheet on their favorite and least favorite part of the story and whether they would recommend the book to someone else.  Kratt felt that if he burdened the kids with another writing assignment such as a book report, the kids might procrastinate or lose interest and enthusiasm.  Now they look forward to reading and eagerly ask for their next book.

    The class also has local adult volunteers who come into the class on Tuesdays and Thursdays and listen as the kids describe their book.   Kratt approached specific women from La Veta who were knowledgeable, enthusiastic readers.  Volunteers include Ginny Carlson, Betty Brown, Jessica Newton and Sam Law.   These volunteers ask the children to discuss the plot of their book, the characters, and even the copyright date of the book.  The children definitely seem engaged with the volunteers in an intellectual conversation about their thoughts.  

    Kratt wants his students to be excited about learning and about discovering new information.  He wants to expose them to as many resources as possible, such as the public library.  He will also add a storyteller, Jennifer Rose, to build the excitement of listening to different kinds of stories.

    Children thrive when shown that people, especially adults, take an interest in sharing ideas.  So, kudos to you Tim Kratt; you have definitely made an impact on your students.

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