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From the Principal’s Pen – March 2018

From the Principal’s Pen

March 2018

Submitted by:  Jennifer McGee, Principal of Atwood Primary School


I don’t know about you, but I have a few regrets in my life.  I don’t spend time wallowing in regret…that would not be productive….but some regrets do cross my mind from time to time.


One of my regrets is that I don’t play an instrument.  One of my sons plays the guitar, and my daughter plays the piano, and I LOVE when we get together and sing to the music.  Having music in your life adds a wonderful dimension… it fills the soul.


However, I don’t play an instrument. I had my chance. My parents forced me to take piano lessons for years, and I frittered away the opportunity. I didn’t practice, I made excuses to miss my lessons, I fought it every inch of the way…and now, well…I wish I hadn’t.


Practice makes permanent.


Look at our professional baseball teams.  25% of the professional players now come from the Dominican Republic…this tiny, poor country.  There is no secret to the formula.  They are motivated. They have great teachers….and (drum roll…) they PRACTICE!  Practice makes permanent.


As we enter the final leg of the school year, I want to tell you a little story about a second grader I had in school about four years ago.  Part way through the school year, his father confided in me that he could not read.  He also told me that more than anything, he wanted his son to grow up a reader. He asked how he could help.


I told him it was no secret how he could help.  Every night, he needed to sit down and let his son practice his reading.  Practice, practice, practice.  The formula was perfect….they were motivated, his son had great teaching during the day, but at night, he needed to practice.


Guess what happened?  At the end of the school year, his son went from being a below grade level reader to a reader who EXCEEDED the standards!!  This devoted father helped us send a READER into the world!


March 2nd is Dr. Seuss’s birthday and it is Read Across America Day!  We will celebrate his birthday with an Atwood Primary School READ IN at 1:30 in our gymnasium! You are all invited to join our celebration of reading!


Really, there is NOTHING that we do that is more important than creating a community of readers.  Reading is the KEY to learning and the KEY to future success!  The majority of our school day is spent on literacy instruction.  But still…the time in school is not enough.


We ask you to continue to lock arms with us in the unified mission of teaching your child to read.   Research tell us that parents who read with their children, significantly improve their child’s ability to read!   You are the difference makers!


Too tired?? Oh, I totally get that!  I can barely drag myself to the bed at the end of some workdays…and I am not half as busy as you are with your young children at home!  When you are just exhausted…I trust your children still have plenty of energy.  Just have them read to YOU!  That is just as valuable!  Practice makes permanent.


And please.  Let us know how we can help. If you need books at home, we can provide you with some “just right” books that your child can read to you, or some more challenging stories that you can read to your child. Also, our library is available for YOU to use as well as your child!


There is nothing like the warm and yummy feeling of cuddling up with your child, at the end of a long day, and sharing a book.  Spend as much time as you can doing that….and trust me, you will have no regrets.


“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents”.  – Emilie Buchwald


Please join us for our Atwood Primary School Dr. Seuss Read In/Read Across America on Friday, March 2 at 1:30 in the Atwood Gymnasium!


Educationally Yours,

Jennifer McGee, Principal of the Atwood Primary School


The Atwood Four Year Old Pre-K Program applications will be available in the office beginning February 1. If you know any child from Oakland who will turn four before October 15, 2018, please have them pick up an application.  Applications must be returned by April 12.


If you know of any children from Oakland who will be turning five years old by October 15, 2018, and are planning to attend kindergarten in the fall, please have them call our school office at 207-465-3411 to sign up for Kindergarten Screening on May 8. 


Coming Events at Atwood Primary