Thompson Elementary School first-grade students Kiya Taylor, from left, and Ray Andrews look at one of the books donated by Half Price Books to the school’s literacy event.
Haylee Ho, a Thompson Elementary School student, colors a picture of the Aggie class ring.
HOUSTON – Nov. 18, 2016 – Students at Thompson Elementary School each received a free book to take home and made a commitment to “read it forward” during a literacy event on Nov. 15 that was organized by Texas A&M University education majors.
Students from all grade levels spent about an hour at the event rotating through four different stations –all staffed by student volunteers from Texas A&M – that included writing, coloring and a read-aloud story time.
Karli Anderson is a student teacher assigned to Thompson Elementary this year through the school’s partnership with the Texas A&M Urban Student Teacher Advanced Residency (U-STAR) program. She said the project promoted literacy while also emphasizing the exciting opportunities that are available at the university.
When the students moved to the coloring station, they found a “My Aggie Adventure” coloring book already opened to a page featuring the Aggie class ring. An area on the ring picture was left blank for the children to fill in the year they would graduate from college – 2032 for the first graders.
One of the most popular stations had tables piled high with age-appropriate books that were generously donated by Half Price Books. Vicki Mokuria, a U-STAR program doctoral student and liaison between Thompson and the university, said the company provided about a 1,000 books for the school. It was enough for each student to take one home with some left over to stock the school’s Little Free Library that is located outside the school for the community to easily access, even during the upcoming holiday breaks.
Dr. Robert Long, Thompson principal, said the event supported the school’s effort to have students read for at least 30 minutes each night and strengthened literacy schoolwide.
About the Texas A&M U-STAR Program – U-STAR was created in conjunction with Texas A&M University’s College of Education and Human Development. Spring ISD’s Thompson Elementary School is the first school to partner with the university in the program that is designed to address a noted national challenge – preparing teachers to transition into and thrive within urban schools.