Library busy despite virus interruptions

Incoming first-grader Skylar Johnston, 6, looks at a book she considered checking out from the media center Tuesday at The Villages Charter Elementary School Intermediate Center.

Summer reading continues, in print and online. The Villages Charter School launched its summer reading program last week, and even though school media centers are not as busy as most summers, educators say they are confident children are continuing habits from spring. Many are reading e-books from the Sumter County Library System, charter elementary school Principal LeAnne Yerk said. In addition to a few from the school library, many students also like to read for fun. “I like books because they tell us about things that happen,” said Drew Alexander, 8, who is going into third grade at the charter school. She was at the school media center with her sister and a family friend and was looking for an interesting book. “There’s more time to read books than watch TV,” Drew said. When schools statewide closed to in-person classes, students still took reading comprehension tests for the school’s Accelerated Reader program at home while learning online. 

In AR, students read books then take an online comprehension quiz and earn points. Students can earn rewards for AR points, which may also improve their grades.

Drew’s mother, Vonette Alexander, said she thinks her daughter has earned four AR points already this summer toward her goal of six points by July 23, which is the end of the school’s summer reading program.

Charter elementary school media specialist Tara Zawacki said the school wasn’t sure what to expect this spring about the number of online AR tests that students took.

“They were very impressive,” she said. “It didn’t drop off like we were afraid it would.”

The school sets goals for AR points for each grade level, second-grade teacher Jennifer Leschak said.  For example, incoming kindergartners should get three points, typically six picture books worth half a point each, she said. Fifth- and sixth-graders are expected to earn 10 points.

Read this story and many others in Saturday’s edition of the Daily Sun.