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RPES Wins NYS PTA Reading Program Award for 2nd Year In a Row!

October 2, 2020

We proudly announce that Rensselaer Park Elementary has won the New York State PTA’s Pick a Reading Partner (PARP) Award for the second year in a row! The award was for RPES’s 2019-2020 school year PARP program: A Litera-Sea of Reading.

Out of all the state regional winners, RPES’s program was designated as the sole State PARP Outstanding Program!

Not only were we surprised that RPES won the award a second year in a row, but it’s particularly meaningful this time due to the circumstances. While A Litera-Sea of Reading kicked off excellently and students participated in a number of activities, the program could not conclude in person because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This made it an even greater honor to have the NYS PTA acknowledge the efforts of RPES, especially now when the district as a whole continues figuring out the best way to serve our students during these ongoing difficult times.   

Special thanks go to RPES Reading Teachers, Ms. Juliano & Ms. Delany! Further thanks to every RPES staff member, student and family who participated!  

As per the NYS PTA website, the PARP Award is given to the “program that best encourages and educates families through collaborative reading and literacy activities.”

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

The RPES students were so enthusiastic about the start of last year’s PARP program that one of our then 5th graders even wrote and recorded a song to kick it off! Click here to listen to it.

A Litera-Sea of Reading involved decorating all of Rensselaer Park Elementary in ocean and pirate themes to represent the Seven Seas. All the hallways were decorated as a different ocean, with the Main Office becoming the Ring of Fire in the Pacific Ocean and the Cafeteria transforming into the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia.  

Each class had their own individual ship they decorated to represent their classroom as they traveled the Seven Seas (IE: the hallways) and staff incorporated reading curriculum into lessons where students learned about the history of pirates. The classes in each grade level that ended up with the most reading minutes each won a golden treasure chest.

Additional literacy activities during the program included Dress Like Your Favorite Book Character Day (which had some pretty great costumes) and a visit from “Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat” author John Marciano who spoke with students about how he became a writer.

Scroll through some of the pictures below to see the decorations and activities from last year’s PARP program: A Litera-Sea of Reading.