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RPES Wins NYS PARP Award for 4th Time in 5 Years!

August 2, 2023

Incredible news! Rensselaer Park Elementary was this year’s State Winner of the New York State PTA’s Pick a Reading Partner (PARP) Award! This is the 4th time in 5 years RPES has won the award! RPES was not only recognized for having the most outstanding program in the state this year but also named as the Northeastern Region PTA Winner.

The PARP program is a statewide NYS PTA initiative promoting literacy and daily reading among young students. Students pick a reading partner (parent, grandparent, sibling, etc.) and read for at least 20 minutes daily with them outside of school while the program is running.

RPES won this year's PARP Award for their 2022-2023 School Year take on the program: RPES Reads Around the 'Burgh. 

2023 List of PARP Winners

Winning programs must:

  • Encourage cooperative reading or literacy activities for at least 20 minutes a day
  • Have a wide variety of community involvement and participation
  • Be accessible and affordable to all communities and make creative use of literacy activities

RPES Reads Around the ‘Burgh took the students and their families on a reading tour of Lansingburgh using a giant 'Burghopoly game board set up around the school building. Different spots on the school-wide game board represented different spots around Lansingburgh – like, Jimmy’s Pizzeria and the Lansingburgh Public Library – and each classroom had its own game piece. For every minute students read with their partners outside of school during the PARP, they helped their classroom travel around the 'Burghopoly board. The program ran from March 3-April 6, 2023, and was designed to make reading a fun priority at home while also teaching the students more about their hometown community.

Some of the RPES students even wrote/recorded the PARP 2023 Rap to kick off the event! You can listen to it below.

This year's PARP program family events included: A Knight in the Park Reading Knight where school families enjoyed an hour of reading in the cafeteria which was made over to represent the park/amusement park that stood on the grounds of RPES before it was a school; A Knight in the Burgh Literacy Knight, an evening of Lansingburgh-themed games & crafts; an Ice Cream Social with donated Stewart’s Ice Cream; and weekly Lansingburgh themed spirit days at school.

Below you can check out pictures of this year's PARP events and of the school set up as the 'Burghopoly game board.  

While many at RPES play a role in making PARP an annual success, special thanks and a shout-out go to RPES Reading Teacher Kelly Juliano for her incredible work organizing the school’s PARP program year after year! Ms. Juliano would like to give special thanks to Mrs. Eckler & Mrs. Allen for doing so much to make this year’s PARP events happen and she also thanks everyone who supported/participated in this year’s PARP program.

Kelly Juliano with certificate for Northeastern New York Region's PARP Program

"A big part of RPES Reads Around the ‘Burgh was teaching our students more about their Lansingburgh community and bringing everyone together, so I’m extremely honored it’s been recognized by the NYS PTA,” said Ms. Juliano.

“It's a privilege for us to win this award four times in the last five years and I hope our school's PARP programs continue encouraging our students' drive to read long after they leave Rensselaer Park."