Belcher Elementary School




Samuel Karlin


Dear Families,

How do you improve a child’s reading? One way is to read, and read often. This year at Belcher School
staff and students are learning about ‘Reading Stamina.’ How do we build up a student’s reading
stamina? How can we support a student in learning to read for sustained periods of time? Teachers at
Belcher School have been working on this topic in Professional Development sessions since August.
Classrooms are charting the amount of time students are able to silently read as a classroom.
The time a class is able to concentrate on reading will greatly depend on the age of the student, and the skills they have learned. Reading in Kindergarten at this time of year looks very different than our grade two students. Young children grow and learn quickly. Many teachers are charting the time spent reading, and students are motivated to increase time on task.

I strongly encourage families to help create good reading habits at home. Set some time aside each
evening for your child to read. Some families may want to read as soon as a student gets home, while
others may want to wait until bedtime. It does not really matter when, just set up a routine and stick
with it. The more a child reads, the stronger her/his reading skills will be. Setting up a reading routine can be a challenge if you have a reluctant reader. If reading is difficult for a child, often that child will not want to read. In this situation it may be helpful for a parent to read to a child for a little bit, and then have the child read a little. Try your best to avoid confrontations during reading time. Keep it light.

What books should your child be reading? Ultimately, we want students to read books at their
‘instructional’ level. Students have to be able to decode or understand 90% of the text they read, or
comprehension will break down and they will not understand what they are reading. Who wants to read a story they cannot understand? Teachers will help students learn what books are best for them. If a student enjoys a book that you feel they have memorized, that is OK. If your child is enjoying reading that is the most important factor. You can always suggest a second book.

If you would like your child’s teacher to suggest appropriate reading books for home, just ask! Teachers are more than happy to help provide additional reading resources.

I look forward to seeing everybody at the November 16, 2017 Bingo for Books (6:00pm – 7:30pm) This is a FREE event sponsored by the Belcher PTO and The Title I Department. Every child will leave the event with at least one book!

Happy November! This year I am thankful for books!


Sam Karlin, Principal

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We are looking for crossing guards. If people are interested they can call me directly at the school, 413.594.3526.

TEL: 413-594-3526, FAX: 413-594-3469

Content Management