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Fostering a Love of Reading – Meet a 2017 Leader to Learn From


– My father first came to this
country in the early 1960s, and he began working in the
farms here as a farm worker. But the first farm that he
worked at was here in Oxnard, where he worked for three years. I made a commitment to
my father at one point when I was a principal
and had started moving up the ranks in the school system that one day, when I would
become a superintendent, that I wanted to serve a community like where he started first in America. Oxnard is a working class community, also a diverse part of a
migrant farm worker community. When serving a community
that is primarily, 90% free and reduced lunch, the majority of our students
need all the help they can get. – [Child] Right there. – Do you see that? Can everybody show me your reading finger? Say: This is my reading finger. – [Class] This is my reading finger. – Reading is a gatekeeper,
and it’s a must. Having books in the home is essential. Our school district is doing its part. We presently have a 1:1 tablet initiative, where every child has an iPad device. But, not only that, we’ve also loaded it with a digital program,
myON, and other programs that have the ability for students to download digital material, and not only read it at
school, but read it at home. Every child in this school district, no matter their income
level, has the ability to have 20 new titles
to choose from everyday. – Research shows that
time spent reading books is the single best predictor
of academic success. The students we are about
to honor this evening are definitely going to
have that academic success, because each of them have
read over one million words. (audience applauds) – One of the unintended
consequences of our initiatives here in the Oxnard school
district has been that parents are also utilizing
our students’ tablets at home, and they’re also reading books, the digital books, together
with their children, reading to their children,
or reading themselves. (foreign language) – He was looking for food, but everywhere he looked there
was nothing. Just empty pots. – The only way we’re gonna best set up our students for success
is giving them access to reading, motivating
reading, do whatever it takes. How are you? – Good. – Good. You learned how to read? – Yeah. – That’s cool. And I want students to love to read for the sake of the joy of reading, but I also want them to
never have as an excuse any class in general that they
don’t understand something because they don’t have a strong
enough comprehension level. Those of use that are educators, we need to acknowledge,
we were successful, and we navigated the school system. Now let’s help our students
all navigate it as well. Give me a high five. Alright! You read very well. – Yeah. – You like to read?

About James Carlton

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