The annual Hubbard Elementary School Read-In. Watch the video!
ASD-W Superintendent David McTimoney reads to students at Oromocto’s Hubbard Elementary School on Friday, Jan. 27, as part of the school’s annual Read-In. The Read-In was in honour of Family Literacy Day, an event established in 1999 by ABC Life Literacy Canada to encourage a love of reading in young people.

Oromocto, N.B.–“You can observe a lot by just watching,” quipped baseball hall-of-fame legend Yogi Berra.

And on Friday, Jan. 27, Oromocto’s Hubbard Elementary School put Berra’s famous truism into action to encourage a lifelong love of reading in students. The school hosted parents, members of the military, athletes, and district and government officials, who read to students, for its annual Read-In.

Kurt Stiles, Hubbard Elementary School Principal.

“I hope they see adults reading and, when they go home, ask if they can go to the library and pick up a book,” said Hubbard Elementary School Principal Kurt Stiles.

Hubbard was one of several district schools to hold special activities to honour Family Literacy Day, an event established in 1999 by ABC Life Literacy Canada, which occurs every Jan. 27.

The adult readers did more than just read text from the page to keep students engaged. Students got an experience, with some readers providing sound effects, body movement and audience participation.

Cindy Miller, Hubbard Elementary School Vice-Principal
Cindy Miller, Hubbard Elementary School Vice-Principal.

“I would like the parents to see that kids enjoy listening to reading,” said Hubbard Elementary School Vice-Principal Cindy Miller. “It doesn’t always have to be something on an iPad or a phone or the computer. They can go back to books and be interested in real stories from storybooks.”

New Brunswick Lt.-Gov. Brenda Murphy marvelled at the students’ enthusiasm for the stories being read to them.

New Brunswick Lt.-Gov. Brenda Murphy.

“Children seem so uninhibited, and I appreciate that,” said Murphy. “I also think it’s great for [students] to see people who are in different leadership roles in their community and to hear from them why they think it’s important to read.”

ASD-W Superintendent David McTimoney even pulled double duty, reading in person to students from both Hubbard Elementary and online to students at McAdam Elementary School.

ASD-W Superintendent David McTimoney reads–online from Hubbard Elementary School–to students at McAdam Elementary School on Friday, Jan. 27, as part of the school’s Read-In.

“I was pleased with the kids’ attention to the story, and it was a fun experience for me, as well,” McTimoney said. “The younger we start with these reading practices and habits, the better off everyone will be.”

Hubbard’s Read-In event is just one of the activities teachers use to engage students in reading. In the run-up to the Read-In, teachers read books that have been made into movies with their respective classes. Then, upon completion of the book, the class watch the movie and compare their visualization from the book to the film.

“It’s neat to talk with the kids about what vision you had. What did the characters look like? What did the room look like,” said Miller. “But then, when you see the movie, it’s nothing like what you figured, right?”

Each class also contributed to a travelling story—a story composed with a sentence or two from each class.

The school encourages a family reading challenge in which students record the number of minutes they read together with their family on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. On Friday, each teacher calculates the number of minutes read per class, and the class with the most minutes receives a prize.

“We’re going to graph it and post it in the lobby so the kids can see how many minutes were read,” Miller said.

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