Family reading time at McCarty Elementary School’s Read-Out event

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As one book closed, another opened at McCarty Elementary School, as students began wrapping up the school year with the annual Read-Out event.

“Each grade level has a 30-minute block of time where they’ll be outside to meet with their families who come to read with them,” said Laura Reyes, a reading specialist at McCarty Elementary School. “As the students walk outside, they receive a free bag of ten books that they will be taking home for the summer to continue their reading over the summer, as well as a reading journal, some colored pencils, and some reading activities to go with the books.”

McCarty Elementary celebrates reading with the annual Read-Out

Students snuggled up to their parents, opening books full of worlds they explored together, and proudly showed them the reading progress they made over the year. Whether they were reading to a caregiver, each other, by themselves, or were being read to, the pages kept on turning. 

“Everyone loves books and everyone loves to read. So it’s a great celebration,” said Reyes.

McCarty Elementary has hosted the Read-Out for seven years. It was brought to the school by Reyes, who first held it with her first graders at Colishaw Elementary, before bringing it to McCarty.

“I spoke with my reading improvement team, and they were all on board to doing it with our reading improvement students. But then my team suggested, ‘Let’s make it a whole school event,’ and we have ever since,” said Reyes.

Reyes said the Read-Out grows every year with more parents participating alongside their young readers. She hopes to see more schools in the district take a page out of McCarty’s book and implement a similar reading event.

“Showing students the joy of books and reading and celebrating how much now they can read at the end of the year, whether they’re reading the pictures or pointing to those sight words they know, they’re celebrating ‘I am a reader’, no matter what age they’ve grown as a reader this year, and it’s so important to celebrate that,” said Reyes.

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