Interview with PACHS Reading Specialist Christina Camacho
by Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School Press Team
One of the goals of our school-wide Literacy Plan is to build a culture of literacy. We want students to love reading and to engage in authentic reading and writing experiences. We want them to see themselves in the books they read. To make that possible, we need to have books that are culturally relevant to their lives, their family, and their community. We believe if they can experience that link, it will promote life-long literacy habits.
Recently, we were funded for a ‘Donor’s Choose’ award, in which we received over $1800 in books, which now our students are enjoying. We’ve seen an increase in student interest with the new books. In just 3 weeks, some students are reading their third or fourth book.
This year, the school also purchased the “Accelerated Reader” program that enables us to track students’ reading comprehension of the books they read in Silent Sustained Reading. (Our school day is organized so that for 35 minutes per day, the entire school engages in Silent Sustained Reading.) Students have already taken 18 quizzes on finished books. Also, this year, the school will be making 5 after-school Book Trips to bookstores around the city, where students purchase the book of their choice. For some, this is the first book that is truly their own. These are just a few of the latest developments of a very dynamic reading program. Stay tuned!