TUCKAHOE, N.Y. – Students at William E. Cottle Elementary School in Tuckahoe have been making the most of their lunch breaks by participating in a PTA program called “Books-N-Bites.”
Students in third through fifth grade had the choice of participating in a book club during lunch in the winter.
“Books-N-Bites” began last year to encourage fifth-graders to read. The kids meet during lunch and talk about their books during the winter months when they don't go outside for recess.
The program was such a hit that it was expanded to three grades and required additional volunteers. It was scheduled to run November through February, when the weather became milder.
Teachers chose appropriate books for each grade level, and parent volunteers led the book clubs with discussions and activities.
As spring approaches, the students don’t want to stop reading, parent volunteer Tammy Ehrenfeld said.
“The kids don’t want the program to end, even though it’s warm enough to go out and play,” she said. “When I told my group the last session was coming up, they all said, ‘No, we would rather have book club.’”
The program also allows parents to connect with their children either by acting as a volunteer or by reading along at home, Ehrenfeld said.
“We hope more parents and caregivers sign up to help next year,” she said. “It is a terrific opportunity to spend time with your child, meet their classmates and have conversations you would otherwise not have.”
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