My school district agreed to recognize the students who have achieved Outstanding Achievement in Reading in my classes at the Student Recognition Ceremony at the Board of Education meeting on May 31st. Wow!!! My READ 180 students received accolades among the school scholars in math, science, English, and world languages. It was the third experience in my district for READ 180 students, and it was an event that my students will always remember, and most certainly, never forget! Furthermore, teachers, parents, students, administrators and other attendees became more aware of what our students do. It was a good day for Inclusion and Mainstreaming!
Below is the text of my speech and my students' accomplishments:
Reading opens the door to infinite possibilities for our students. It opens new doors to places they will visit and explore well beyond the short days and years that we have with them, indeed for the rest of their lives! Reading is a skill we teach our students that will help them achieve their hopes, dreams, and aspirations. Proficient reading fosters critical thinking, independence, and empowerment to live a life of dignity and self-respect.
As a community, we must firmly remind ourselves that reading is a non-negotiable asset that all our students should possess at an independent and proficient level. In 2016, Manhasset Public Schools, under the direction of Allison Rushforth and Stewart Grabelsky, introduced and supported a program called Read 180 Universal. Dr. Patrick O'Reilly and Dr. Dean Schlangler further supported this program with their encouragement, always.Reading opens the door to infinite possibilities for our students. It opens new doors to places they will visit and explore well beyond the short days and years that we have with them, indeed for the rest of their lives! Reading is a skill we teach our students that will help them achieve their hopes, dreams, and aspirations. Proficient reading fosters critical thinking, independence, and empowerment to live a life of dignity and self-respect.
Here is the video of the ceremony.
Show Video Clip (READ 180 Universal) 60 seconds
The following students have achieved outstanding success with reading, and have thus opened the "World of Possible" in their lives:
Jeovanny Adames: Your Lexile score has increased over 389 points in the past two years. Your curiosity for learning, along with your persistent efforts in class, will assist you in your quest to become a veterinarian someday. You score in the proficient range for your grade. Congratulations!
Janya Randle: Your Lexile score has increased over 166 points in the past two years. Your work within the Genius Hour project regarding the plight of Syrian Refugees has brought both local and national attention to this cause. You are going to become a prominent activist for children's rights, someday. Congratulations!
Luke Cherry: Your Lexile score has increased over 475 points over the past two years. Your amazing acquisition and retention of new vocabulary words and incredible insight into our discussions and the passages we read in class, lead me to believe that you are developing your talents and can well reach the goals you set for yourself. Congratulations.
Jason Pilla: Your Lexile score has increased over 315 points these past two years. Your positive attitude, hard work, and willingness to share your technology skills (with your peers and me), demonstrate your new confidence as a learner. I must say that you know how to respectfully show your teacher how to navigate such things as "new arrows" that somehow appear on the Smartboard when I am not looking. Thank you for your help and Congratulations!
Nora Finlay: Your Lexile score has increased over 185 points this year. Your willingness to grow as a learner in the midst of various sports injuries, show that you have the fortitude to overcome the vicissitudes of life. Congratulations!
Rebecca Petras: Your Lexile score has increased over 280 points throughout these past two years. Your hard work, growth mindset, and perseverance will help you to achieve the goals that you have for your life. You are a proficient reader! Congratulations!
Angelo Toney: Your Lexile score has increased over 200 points this past year. You deserve all of the credit. Your hard work with Ms. Maina and Mr. Koondel as well as in the Read 180 program has paid off. With such continued work and focus, you will be able to achieve all the goals you set for your life. Congratulations!
Caroline Petrocone: Your Lexile score increased over 323 points in the past two years. When given an opportunity you go for it and succeed. Your positive attitude, work ethic, and willingness to persevere with a growth mindset will help you as you take on new challenges in the 8th grade and beyond. Congratulations!
Congratulations to all of you! I hope that you continue to find that reading will open the doors to a "World of Possible" for you in your lives.
You can offer a similar ceremony for your students. Just meet with your principal or superintendent and propose the idea. You'd be surprised at the response that you will get. If it helps, share my text and video with your administrators when you meet.
It is highly important that we recognize our students for their accomplishments outside of the classroom. Not only does it bring renewed confidence to our students and their parents, but it also brings awareness to the work that we do, through the Read 180 program, to increase the literacy skills of the reluctant readers and writers in our classes.
Please feel free to contact me with any support you may need in making an awards ceremony a reality for your students in your district.