Hilliard Northwest News

Alton Darby faculty

'Teacher Tuesdays' at Hilliard library meant to encourage summer reading

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A team of teachers from Alton Darby Elementary School is taking some time during summer vacation to ensure students maintain a love for reading.

For one hour each Tuesday morning since June 3, at least one teacher from Alton Darby has met with several families at the Hilliard branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library to discuss a book that children have read or plan to read.

The Teacher Tuesdays will continue from 11 a.m. to noon through Aug. 5 at the library, 4772 Cemetery Road.

No appointments are necessary.

Meredith Kleman, a second-grade teacher at Alton Darby, said she wants children to continue to develop a love for reading as well as to keep reading skills sharp.

"We hope the takeaway from this is that kids start to develop a lifelong love for reading," Kleman said. "We don't want it to be seen as a chore but as a natural part of their day."

Kleman said after developing the idea for the Teacher Tuesdays program, she reached out to the Columbus Metropolitan Library to host it and recruited other teachers to staff the program.

She said 16 teachers are participating.

"We talk to kids about books every day during the school year and I didn't want that to diminish during the summer," Kleman said. "I thought the best way to do that was to have a place for our kids to meet and keep talking about books."

Although Alton Darby students originally were the intended subjects, the one-hour weekly sessions are open to all Hilliard students and children from other districts, particularly those in kindergarten through the fifth grades, said Kleman, who has taught nine years in Hilliard schools.

"Our families (from Alton Darby) have been bringing family and friends, too, and that's great," she said.

The program is not a remedial reading class, Kleman said, although improved reading skills is a happy by-product.

"We are meeting to discuss what we think about what we've read (and) to help kids find an appropriate book (for their age and skill level)," Kleman said.

Ben Zenitsky, a spokesman for the Columbus Metropolitan Library system, said library officials are pleased the Hilliard branch can provide a site for the outreach.

"We strive to have a great partnership with the districts we serve," Zenitsky said.

Zenitsky said he believes the program will help children develop a love for reading and master reading skills to help with future testing.

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