For over 15 years, Patrick Oliver has collaborated with my instructional staff in various schools to bring the thrill of reading to children.
Mr. Oliver introduced culturally relevant books and authors to the students of William Woodruff Elementary/Extended Year Education School while I was principal there. The students enrolled in the after-school program not only received in-depth literacy lessons from Mr. Oliver, but also had the opportunity to meet one of the authors of their unit of study.
When reassigned to Winthrop Rockefeller Elementary, I brought Mr. Oliver in to conduct a professional development session with my new staff. The workshop focus dealt with introducing children to the love and excitement of reading. Mr. Oliver introduced various authors and their work, giving a ‘book-talk’ of selected books. The staff came away from the workshop with a list of multi-cultural books and knowledge of new authors of various genre to strike the interest of students.
Mr. Oliver developed “Boys, Breakfast, and Books”, which meets each Wednesday at 7:00 A.M. until the beginning of the school day at 7:45 A.M. The young men involved in the activity not only enjoy the program and are eager to attend, the additional reading practice has improved student’s fluency and comprehension. Mr. Oliver also works with the boys regarding behavior and to have great expectations for themselves. Referrals to my office for discipline infractions were noticeably reduced for the members of the program.
Winthrop Rockefeller Elementary students have also had the opportunity to participate in various other literacy activities, such as meeting Delfeayo Marsalis author of No Cell Phone Day. We were honored to host the National Black Children’s Book Fair, held November 7th and 8th, 2014. Students, parents, staff and members of the community participated in various workshops by authors.
My students continue to benefit from the literacy programs of Mr. Oliver