Portland Jewish Academy & The PJ Library® are very excited to host Ellie Gilbert, Lewis and Clark professor of Education and literacy coach for a parent workshop on the fun and challenges of raising young readers. Ellie brings an important perspective and valuable expertise to the subject of early literacy as both an educator and mom of kindergartner, Jensen. Ellie and her daughter have been active members and supporters of The PJ library since Jensen’s infancy.
Here is a little about Ellie’s experience as a parent and an educator in her own words:
Until my daughter turned three, I KNEW I was doing everything Right. Then my daughter started preschool. We had our first parent/teacher conference in the fall where the teachers told my husband and me that our daughter was advanced in her reading skills. I was thrilled! Then confused… I thought, “Wait, what does her teacher mean by ‘reading’ skills? I mean, my daughter knows a couple of sight words, and she L-O-V-E-S books, but I’m not so sure that really makes her a ‘reader’ yet.”
My confusion turned into worry. I’d always sworn that when my daughter started kindergarten she would be reading… but how does that happen, exactly? I, like most parents who are themselves readers, assumed my child would learn to read and that she would love it as much as I do. But when I was faced with actually making reading happen in my child… suddenly I felt like I was lost, behind, not getting it Right. Should I buy those My Baby Can Read DVDs? Should I be drilling my three-year old on sight words, or was a phonics regimen the way to go? (…queue the reel of me loading up my shopping cart at Costco with several hundred dollars’ worth of teach-your-kid-to-read programs)
I realized that my background as a high school teacher and as a corporate trainer did next to nothing to prepare me for teaching reading. I wanted to encourage my daughter as a reader, but I didn’t even know where to start. I wondered:
- · What skills should I be teaching her?
- · What books should we be reading?
- · Is there a best – known-method for teaching reading?
- · What is literacy in preschoolers anyway?
- · Where can I find the information I need?
In the spring of my daughter’s first year in preschool, I enrolled as a graduate student at Lewis & Clark and began to take courses towards my M. Ed. and a Reading Specialist endorsement. WOW! I couldn’t believe the wealth of information about early literacy that was out there. Suddenly, I was seeing my daughter’s emerging literacy in a whole new light. I was so excited by what I was learning that I decided it was too good to keep to myself. I created a workshop for parents of young children (ages 2-5) that explores the multi-facets of emerging literacy and that gives strategies for fostering their children’s growth as readers and as writers.
Ellie will share the latest research, resources for finding out more, and provide lists of favorite books to share with your child. If you are the parent of a child preschool-first grade please be sure to come to this event.
Date: Thursday evening, January 26, 6-7:30 PM
Details: Dinner for the kids (snacks for the parents!) and childcare (provided by PJA 8th graders as a fundraiser for their upcoming 8th grade trip to Israel) provided for a small fee.
RSVP: PJA office at email@example.com or by phone 503-244-0126.
To keep this a dynamic and lively conversation attendance will be limited so please RSVP early.