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Dover Post
  • Stokes Elementary keeps kids reading all summer

  • A school teacher may be the last person a student wants to see during summer vacation, but Nellie H. Stokes Elementary School students were running to greet teachers and administrators on Thursday when the school’s faculty pulled into the Meadowbrook Acres neighborhood in Woodside.
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  • A school teacher may be the last person a student wants to see during summer vacation, but Nellie H. Stokes Elementary School students were running to greet teachers and administrators on Thursday when the school’s faculty pulled into the Meadowbrook Acres neighborhood in Woodside.
    The faculty and staff came out to provide the kids ice pops, free books and bags of food courtesy of the Food Bank of Delaware as part of the school’s summer reading program titled, Summer Reading is Hot, Hot, Hot. Kellie Rogers, an achievement liaison teacher at Stokes helped coordinate the event.
    “We wanted to make sure our kids are reading over the summer so that when they start back at school they haven’t regressed and that they are exactly where they need to be,” Rogers said.
    In the past, Stokes’ summer reading program has been held at the school. Typically the library will be opened at a designated time for students to come in a pick out books. This year faculty and staff decided to take summer reading to the streets.
    Stokes has maintained a summer reading program because often if kids don’t read over the summer they experience what Stokes Principal Nicole Jones calls “the summer slide.” The summer slide is when students don’t retain all of the knowledge from the previous year.
    “We want to prevent the summer slide by putting books in kids’ hands,” she said.  “We are looking to promote literacy throughout the course of the year. We don’t want students to think that learning is only for 10 months of the year. Learning is a lifetime process.”
    Stokes Librarian Laura Wright picked out roughly 200 books geared toward both boys and girls from first through fifth grade. By the end of the night the Stokes crew had handed out more than 80 books.
    “We didn’t have just one grade level or one type of book. We know these kids so we tried to cater the books to them,” Jones said. “Our librarian is good at knowing what books to pick for kids and how to cater to the needs and likes of kids.”
    Once the books had been ordered the next challenge was locating neighborhoods to target. Students who attend Stokes are from across a large area with few concentrated neighborhoods, Jones said. Three neighborhoods were chosen for book drops: Meadowbrook Acres, Newell’s Creek and Briar Park.
    “We wanted to pick a variety of neighborhoods,” said Jones, “so that people who don’t necessarily live in that neighborhood could still be close to a location.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Students couldn’t miss the Stokes faculty, who were accompanied by a fire engine from the Camden Wyoming Fire Company. And the Food Bank of Delaware provided 40 bags of food. Children who typically receive aid from the Food Bank picked up a bag along with their free book and ice pop at the various stops. By the end of the night all 40 bags were gone.
    “It was well received,” she said “We have an automated call system for events and we did several global connects with it, we put up signs and put the word out on Facebook. Parents were driving out and meeting us at locations. The parents were excited about it.”

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