Sunningdale embraces EAL books

Nathan Liewicki
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Sunningdale Elementary School students, left to right, Nathan Pisio, Nada Hosni, Zsombor Deak and Noah Lyall read from the school's new collection of English as an Additional Language books. As part of Reading Town Canada, Maria Irshad, back, was on hand to read a book a book to students in Arabic at the school's assembly Monday. 

School partaking in Reading Town with 'drop everything and read'

Sunningdale Elementary School students interested in reading books in Vietnamese, Hungarian and 10 other languages can now do just that.

“This will open our doors to reaching out to students and families whose first language isn’t English,” principal Steve Michaluk told the Times-Herald.

An estimated 200 English as an Additional Language (EAL) books – complete with English words on the pages – were ushered into the library’s collection at an assembly Monday morning.

Michaluk said the school, and it’s community council, chose the EAL books after considering the languages spoken, read and written outside of school by families of students that attend Sunningdale.

“Anytime we have an opportunity to promote literacy, we’re going to do so,” he said.

Although a dozen EAL books were added to the school’s library, the potential for more to be added in the future is a definite possibility.

To mark this announcement, Maria Irshad read a book in Arabic to students, as the English translation appeared on the projector screen in the gymnasium.

A small group of students also led their fellow students in doing actions as Irshad read the book.

The introduction of the books tied in perfectly with a couple other announcements Michaluk made Monday, one of which was the introduction of the school’s “free little library.”

A Prairie South School Division project designed for schools to share the love of reading with local communities, Sunningdale’s free little library will soon be stuffed with about 60-80 books.

Both the EAL books and the introduction of the free little library show the importance of reading. Considering Moose Jaw is in the midst of hosting Reading Town Canada, the school’s decision to make this week “Drop Everything and Read” Week, appeared to be welcomed by students in the gymnasium.

At random times throughout the week, an announcement will be made, instructing students to stop whatever they are doing in their classrooms, pick up a book and read.

“Make sure you have a book with you at all times,” Michaluk told students.

He added that Reading Town is a great way to build awareness of the importance of reading for students.

“There is a direct correlation in literacy at the Grade 3 level with how students perform in their later school days, as well as adults,” said Michaluk.

For other Reading Town events, check the daily Community happenings in the Times-Herald.

Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks

Organizations: Times-Herald, Prairie South School Division

Geographic location: Reading Town, Moose Jaw

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