Plaza Elementary School’s PARP program wins award


The Baldwin school district announced that Plaza Elementary School PTA’s Pick a Reading Partner, PARP, program has been named winner of the 2023 Nassau Region PARP Award.

Only a total of seven region winners from across the state were recognized and advanced to the state-level competition. The name of Plaza’s PARP program was a play on words, as it was called “There’s a MINION good reasons to read!”

According to Stephanie Avidon, Nassau Region PTA special assignee for literacy, and Sarah Henris, region director, Plaza was selected because the school’s PARP program was “very imaginative” and “offered a lot that benefited the students, parents, faculty, and community.” PARP aims to cement the necessary bond between home and school to instill a love of reading in children.

“At Plaza Elementary, we are so lucky to have wonderful parents to help make these events at our school possible,” said Tricia Wilder with Amy Gilroy, Plaza’s PTA Co-Presidents, agreeing. “We’d like to extend a special thank you to Emily Cain, our PARP committee chairperson, for all her hard work in making sure our kids know there are ‘a MINION reasons to read!’”

“We are also very fortunate to have teachers who want to be a part of the programs we put forth for our students and families. Together, in true ‘P(arent)T(eacher)A(ssociation)’ fashion, we worked together to bring a PARP program to our school that was fun and engaging for our students and their families.”

Mark Gray, principal of Plaza Elementary School, added, “Home and school connections can’t happen without an engaged PTA.

“Our PARP program reflected creativity, an emphasis on fun, and a genuine desire to bring together our reading community in a successful way. Congratulations to the Plaza Elementary School PTA, our faculty, staff, and families on winning this year’s PARP Award for the Nassau Region!”

Developed in 1978 by the late State Senator James Donovan, Chairman of the State Senate Education Committee, the primary objective of PARP is to encourage reading and other literacy-based activities in the home through recognition of PARP programs by highlighting PARP programs; sharing outstanding PARP ideas with other PTAs/schools/libraries/communities and other parent groups; contributing to the understanding of the importance of reading and other literacy activities in the family setting and in the community. As the daily activity of reading strengthens communication skills in children, the PTA PARP program encourages a “partner” to read with a child for at least 15 minutes daily, stressing the fact that reading is fun and informative.