PHOTOS: HHS Students, Local Leaders Mark Read Across America Day at City Schools

City children had a set of very special guest readers at their schools Friday when Mayor James J. Fiorentini, City Councilors, School Committee members and local leaders read stories to mark the national Read Across America Day. Organizer Sarah Emilio tells WHAV 110 Haverhill High School students were among those who fanned out to 11 city schools to read to 2,000 elementary students on what would have been the 115th birthday of Dr. Seuss. As Emilio explains, the day of volunteerism allows Hillies to pay it forward. “The students at Haverhill High are always excited to participate in this day and connect with their elementary counterparts, giving back to the students what others had for them when they too were elementary students in Haverhill Public Schools,” Emilio told WHAV. Students were aided in the effort by members of the Haverhill Exchange Club and the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, Emilio said.

Green Eggs and Ham, Storytime on Tap for Dr. Seuss Day Saturday at Haverhill YMCA

Saturday, March 2 is National Read Across America Day and the birthday of none other than Theodore Geisel—best known to readers of all ages as Dr. Seuss—with several activities planned to mark the occasion at the Haverhill YMCA. After city schools have their own themed Seuss parties on Friday, head to the Haverhill YMCA at 81 Winter St. Saturday from 10 a.m.-noon for a Dr. Seuss Day celebration. Children and parents in attendance will be treated to—what else?—green eggs and ham, with stories read by former Walnut Square School teacher and Read Across America VIP Mrs. Jean Ray.

City’s Early Literacy Group Haverhill Promise Seeks Director Ahead of First Anniversary

Love literacy and all that comes with it? Haverhill Promise, the 11-month-old citywide effort to get all students reading at or above grade level by the end of the third grade, seeks a full-time director. According to organizers including state Rep. Andy Vargas, school Superintendent Margaret Marotta and school physician Dr. John Maddox, the ideal candidate is willing to go the extra mile to level achievement and opportunity gaps often seen as barriers to learning. “This community-based individual will work with the school district, library, health care providers and other key partners. We want someone who will wake up every day thinking about Haverhill children reading,” Vargas tells WHAV.

Haverhill Public Schools Piloting Letterland Early Literacy Program

Haverhill Public Schools is ready to put a focus on phonics in the city’s quest to get all students reading at grade level by the end of third grade. Following a successful pilot at Hunking School and in several kindergarten classes, the district is considering adopting a multi-sensory curriculum for young readers called Letterland. As Superintendent Margaret Marotta outlined at the Feb. 14 School Committee meeting, Letterland could help Haverhill streamline curriculum at a critical time in a student’s development. According to Sally Fuller, the director of the Springfield-based Reading Success by 4th Grade, children’s vocabulary in kindergarten strongly correlates with their reading scores as a 10th grader.

Haverhill Public Library Launches Children’s Winter Reading Challenge

Young readers can win prizes through the Library's latest literacy effort. (File photograph)

Ready, set, read! Starting this week, the Haverhill Public Library kicks off a kid-friendly winter reading challenge, with youth who complete a literacy Bingo board eligible to win prizes. Challenges include reading a book with a one-word title, or paging through a comic book, for example. Once children read five different types of books to earn a BINGO, the Library will issue a raffle ticket for a prize drawing that takes place on March 1.

Tilton School Offering Prizes for Students Who Read Over Winter Break

Students at Tilton School are encouraged to keep reading over winter break--and win prizes. (WHAV News photograph)

Tilton Tigers take note: School may be out for winter break, but that doesn’t mean students can stop learning. As part of a vacation program launched by Tilton Elementary School Principal Bonnie Antkowiak Thursday, students are able to earn “paw points” for each audio book they listen to while on break. As part of the Tilton’s positive behavior intervention system known as PBIS, students in all grades are awarded “paws” for individual or entire class efforts, such as attendance or adherence to the school’s “ROAR” motto. Once a certain number of paws are accumulated, students may exchange them for prizes.

Haverhill’s Young Readers Invited to Practice Literacy Skills With Therapy Dogs

City children are invited to book a 15-minute timeslot to practice their read aloud skills with one of the Haverhill Public Library’s three therapy dogs this January and February. Kids who can read independently are able to sign up for a session with Loki, Boots or Finn, who are at the 99 Main St. Children’s Room, with availability on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m., Thursdays at 4 p.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m.

To reserve a spot with a tail-wagging tutor, parents can call the library at 978-373-1586 with appointments made on a first come, first served basis.

Haverhill Library Waiving Youth, Teen Late Fees in Effort to Promote Literacy

The Haverhill Public Library has eliminated late fees on materials geared to youth and teens. (File photograph)

Youth and teens in Haverhill are able to keep more allowance money in their pockets, with the Haverhill Public Library’s decision to eliminate all late fees for materials geared to readers in those age groups. The new policy takes effect on Monday, Dec. 10, with any item catalogued as a youth or teen item—including audio/visual materials—will no longer accrue late fees. All outstanding fees associated with those items will be wiped out.