- Who: Kimberly Donnelly, media specialist
- Who: Pam Schroeder, grades three through five, science teacher
- School: Spring Creek Elementary School
- Principal: Karen Leonardi
Spring Creek Elementary School is benefiting from some innovative programs, one of which is the Roaring Readers Program, launched by teacher, Kimberly Donnelly.
After her first year as a science teacher at Spring Creek, Donnelly was given the chance to use her postgraduate training in Information and Library Science, to pilot a program for use in the school’s Media Center. Donnelly last attended the University of Buffalo and also holds two bachelor’s degrees from Buffalo State.
Donnelly described her program and how it has expanded to involve a team approach.
The Banner: What programs have you spearheaded?
Kimberly Donnelly: I started Roaring Readers, a program that has become very successful over the past five years. This program offers our Spring Creek families the resources, in a comfortable and safe environment, to explore the joys of reading with their children.We have a meeting at least once a month between 6 and 7:30 p.m.
TB: How does a typical parent/student meeting run?
KD: Last week we had a guest reader — we have three “read aloud” evenings. We had one group in the media center doing reading games and another at a listening center where parents can sit with their children. We also run a raffle and give treat bags to each student, such as bookmarks, animal science cards, bug candy and things like that. About 217 persons attended — it was a great turn out.
TB: What funding supports your Roaring Readers Program?
KD: Recently, I was awarded a $3,000.00 grant from the Bonita Springs Community Foundation. This money will allow the Roaring Readers program to continue to flourish for the next few years.
TB: Have you been recognized for your efforts?
KD: In 2005, we won a state award for parent involvement and we were also recognized and a Spring Creek Elementary sponsored by the Florida PTA department of education
TB: How has the program evolved?
KD: Pam Schroeder, science teacher, and I decided to get together and include some of her science activities. She set up a chemical reaction center where the parents and students explored things like surface tension, with trials and conclusions. This collaborative approach has worked well and has added to the excitement of the program and parent interest and participation.
The Banner also chatted with Pam Schroeder to discuss her part in the parent/student evening event.
TB: How did the idea to team up with Kim Donnelly’s Roaring Readers Program come about?
Pam Schroeder: Teaming up with the Roaring Readers program was an idea Kim and I devised. Roaring Readers already draws a healthy crowd. We wanted to expand into the realm of Science and decided to collaborate — and it worked.
TB: What part did your class play in the evening team event?
PS: The evening was a parent involvement event designed to excite and engage students and their parents in the scientific method, experiments and activities. Our part of the evening was Discover Science Night.
TB: What was the focus of the program?
PS: The focus was to have students and parents discover science, as they participate together in experiments, investigations and activities.Children are naturally inquisitive and interested in science. Our challenge was to present the concepts in an exciting way, in which they can relate and understand.
TB: What type of parent reaction did you have?
PS: Parent reaction was quite positive as parents and students excitedly erupted volcanoes, made slime, caused raisins to dance and classified shells.
TB: Do you have any outside support or funding?
PS: Discover Science Night was made possible by supportive parents, a grant from the Lion’s Club and a group of amazing and dedicated teachers who are always willing to go the extra mile.
If you know of a student or teacher with a special achievement, contact Jean Amodea at firstname.lastname@example.org your referral.