What Is It?
Celebrate reading at your school! Bring parents, school community members, and students together to support and share in the reading work of the school. During a Reading Carnival, students showcase their reading skills in a variety of planned activities at stations located throughout the school. This event, sometimes called a Reading Fair or Family Reading Night, is often held in the evening or on a weekend to allow parents to attend.
Why Is It Important?
Parent participation is very important in the progress of students. When parents are involved in their children's education, both children and parents are likely to benefit. Researchers report that parent participation in their children's schooling frequently:
enhances children's self-esteem
improves children's academic achievement
improves parent-child relationships
helps parents develop positive attitudes towards school and a better understanding of the schooling process. (Brown, 1989)
A Reading Carnival not only allows for an acknowledgment of the work students have been doing in reading and writing, it also presents an opportunity for parents to become involved in the life of the school.
When Should It Be Taught?
A Reading Carnival can be held toward the end of the year to celebrate the students' progress in reading and writing, but it is also appropriate to have a Reading Carnival in the fall to introduce families to the work that students will be doing in reading and writing. It can also be done in the middle of the year to bring school staff, students, and parents together to see both the work that has been done thus far and the work that lies ahead.
What Does It Look Like?
A school-wide Reading Carnival can be a festive event. Reading games and activities are located throughout the school building and are run by teachers, community volunteers, and even students. Parents, siblings, and extended family members accompany their students from activity to activity serving either as audience members or active participants. A Reading Carnival can last an hour or more depending on the ages of the students involved. If the whole school isn't ready for a Reading Carnival, one or more grade level teams can get together to plan their own event.