Dutch Broadway kicks off PARP Reading Olympics


Inspired by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Dutch Broadway School in Elmont kicked off its annual Parents as Reading Partners program on Jan. 4 with an opening ceremony celebrating this year’s theme: the “Reading Olympics.” Each grade was assigned a global region, with every class representing a different country. Students from all grade levels filled the “Olympic Stadium” gymnasium, marching in waving their country’s flag high. They sang a reading-themed version of “We Are the Champions” to get motivated for the beginning of PARP.

“Children have to read. That is the key to success,” said Principal Walter Aksionoff, emphasizing that PARP is a unifying activity and reading is a building block for future success.

Classroom-related PARP activities will center on the assigned country, with students using a variety of disciplines for their studies. The four-week schoolwide reading initiative encourages students from pre-K through sixth grade to read at home with a designated buddy for at least 15 minutes, five days a week. Students are awarded prizes for completing their reading log, and classroom prizes are distributed in each grade level for 100 percent participation rate.

“PARP really gets the students excited and fuses different curricula together,” Assistant to the Principal Shawnée Warfield said.

The “Just Dance Across the Nation” event on Jan. 7, which is a family activity featuring international music aligned with the PARP theme, was the first of several PARP community activities that will continue through the remainder of the school year. The closing ceremony will be held in June during Field Day.

“It has become really big in the school,” said PTA President Marie Saintvil, who helped PTA PARP chairperson Renee Williams organize the event, adding that the school takes it well beyond the four-week period. “The kids enjoy it, the families enjoy it, and it is all about reading.”