During a time when many kids spend hours playing video games, one first grade teacher is making it her mission to rev kids up about reading.
Aquebogue Elementary School's first grade teacher Keri Stromski is utilizing a program called RAZ-Kids to spark young readers' interest.
The new computer-based reading program, which was implemented in January, allows students to access leveled reading books at school and at home.
Teachers are introducing students to RAZ-Kids during lab time at school and encouraging them to continue reading at home, on vacations, and during free time.
“I want your child to enjoy coming to school each and every day. Your child’s day will be filled with rich experiences, challenging projects and numerous achievements,” Stromski wrote to parents.
Students are able to access the RAZ-Kids website, put their headphones on and begin reading.
The site, Stromski said, tracks how many minutes a student spends reading both at school and at home, and allows them to earn stars for every book they have read or listened to -- and for quizzes and assignments they completed.
Stars can be used to increase their rank on the "Rocketship," and to buy items from the catalogue to personalize the rocket.
"But what’s most exciting to me is that it is helping their reading performance. They are assigned a certain level, read the books in that level, take quizzes, and can then move up to a higher reading level. They love it. I love it, and their parents love it," Stromski said.
Parents Steven and Lisa Lagnena weighed in. “We are so impressed with RAZ-Kids as a program that lets our daughter become highly engaged in the reading process and practice skills taught, while deepening her love of reading. She has become more independent as a reader and can’t get enough of reading. Her level has recently jumped, as reported by Mrs. Stromski’s benchmark testing. We are so pleased to be in a district that values this and supports young learners.”