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From the Principal’s Pen – March 2019

From the Principal’s Pen

March 2019

Submitted by: Jennifer McGee Principal

Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.


I hardly even think about driving anymore. It’s motor memory. After decades of driving, I can barely conjure up the days from the past when I was scaring my parents half to death, screeching to a stop and careening around corners. Today, driving is second nature…


Until….there is sleet and freezing rain. On icy roads, I feel more like a beginning driver again…aware of every acceleration and brake. Hands gripping the steering wheel…conscious and wide-eyed, aware of every single mile.


Your children are kind of in the “beginning driver” phase of being readers. They are “hands on the wheel”, aware of every letter…every letter sound….attempting to string those letters together to make words. They are learning to string those words together to make sentences. And, ultimately, when they have enough sight words and enough letters and sounds….and ENOUGH PRACTICE…they become fluent enough to make sense out of what they are reading!


Years ago, we had a second grader who made REMARKABLE progress in his second-grade year.  He literally went from being a non-reader into becoming a wonderful reader in one school year.  At the end of the year, I asked him:  “What made the difference? How did you become such a wonderful reader?”


He never hesitated when he gave his answer:  “My father reads with me every single night.”


Practice, practice, practice. My husband was a basketball coach for 30 years. He used to talk about “muscle memory”….having his players practice movement until it was simply automatic. That repetitive practice was what created muscle memory in his players.


This is no secret. What makes better readers? Reading, reading, and more reading. Believe me when I say, I know the struggle of working parents and how the end of the day can sometimes NOT come soon enough.  And trust me when I also say I regret a lot of things; however, I do not regret one exhausted second I spent reading to my children. It was the best time I ever spent. And on some nights, I fell asleep in their beds with a book….but night-times were always made better when we read together.


When we come back from February vacation, we will be celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday, which is March 1.

Here is how we will celebrate Dr. Seuss and READING:


Monday, February 25:   Fox in Sox…Silly Socks Day

Tuesday, February 26:  Green Eggs and Ham….Wear Green Day!

Wednesday, February 27:  Wacky Wednesday…Wear Anything Wacky!

Thursday, February 28:  Cat in the Hat…Wear a Hat and bring in a donation for the Humane Society

Friday, March 1:  Read and White Day and Dr. Seuss Celebration:  Read Across America Day….Come in and join your children in a Read-In at 1:00


So, in the remainder of these last few beastly winter months, when the roads turn slick, think about your children as beginning readers. They have to think about every letter, every word, and every punctuation mark just as you are thinking about your driving.  But as you read and read and read some more with them…pretty soon you will see them break the code, and their reading will sound smooth and easy and seamless.  Kind of like you driving on clear pavement…with the radio up and the windows down…


Educationally Yours,



Jenny McGee, Principal of Atwood Primary School



Dates to Note:

March 8:  In-Service Workshop Day/ no school for students

March 26:  Early Release Day / 12:00 release




Coming Events at Atwood Primary