On Thursday, February 25th, parents of our PreKindergarten and Kindergarten students attended an Early Literacy coffee led by Assistant Head of School Donna Lamonte.  With appropriate COVID protocols in place, parents gathered in the Coleman Hall to learn about the school’s guided reading program for beginning readers and how to support their children learning to read at home.  Mrs. Lamonte is a reading specialist certified in Reading Recovery.  She is also a National Board Certified Educator and holds a Master of Education degree in Elementary Reading. 

Ms. Lamonte’s informative presentation included guidance on book selection, how to help your child approach new words, and how to foster early reading behaviors with your youngest readers.  Mrs. Lamonte used pictures of the pages of children’s books to explain concepts such as how texts become increasingly more difficult and prompting readers to use all of the cues. After the meeting, parents enjoyed talking with each other and Mrs. Lamonte informally over coffee. Robyn Bentley, mom of PreK-4 student Riley Bentley, shared her reflections on the event: “It was great! I learned techniques to implement with my young reader. I especially liked the ways to encourage her to engage her techniques that she’s been taught.”

The group who attended completed a short feedback survey where they were able to express interest in future workshop topics for St. James parents, which include fostering independence in young learners and developing number sense. For current parents who missed the workshop and would like to view a recording, please email Mrs. Lamonte for a copy at dlamonte@stjameseds.org. We look forward to sharing the next parent coffee topic with our community soon!