Students, educators promote literacy

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 7, 2000

Reading on the Mall is working.

Monday, February 07, 2000

Reading on the Mall is working.

Email newsletter signup

It’s also fun, but that’s beside the point.

The efforts of local educators to promote literacy apparently are having an impact.

"I think we are having an impact," Ruth Robinson said. "Just seeing children’s faces and how excited they can get tells you that."

Robinson, a veteran second-grade teacher at Neveln Elementary School in Austin, was one of three chairpersons of the 14th annual Reading on the Mall events held Saturday at OakPark Mall in Austin.

Sponsors include the Minnesota Reading Association, Southeast Reading Council, Austin Public Schools and the elementary schools’ Parent-Teacher Councils as well as OakPark Mall.

The event kicks off I Love To Read Month activities throughout Mower County public and private schools.

Helping Robinson with Saturday’s Reading on the Mall activities were Polly Jelinek and Evelyn Guentzel. Jelinek is a retired teacher, who continues to help in classrooms. Guentzel is principal at Glenville-Emmons Public Schools.

There were several displays, including one for the Austin Public Library, at the OakPark Mall community room Saturday.

Parents assisted the educators, who also had help from Southland Public Schools.

There was a book swap, games, prizes and reading circles, where adults read books to children.

Robinson said the Reading on the Mall activities help prompt children to want to read aloud at home and good reading habits translate to better classroom efforts, too.

Guentzel said the Reading on the Mall activities are just one of the ways that parents can bring children to want to read.

Jelinek said she liked the way older kids, as well as adults, were reading aloud to children. That helps validate reading to the younger children, according to Jelinek.

All three educators said combining the efforts of teachers, principals and students is a win-win situation for everyone.

Being able to reach more prospective readers through Reading on the Mall activities is an added bonus of the effort, according to Guentzel.

There will be more individual I Love To Read Month activities in individual schools throughout February.

Coming in March is the annual Reading Across America literacy promotion.