On June 24, Grade 7 and 8 students from Russell High School (RHS) gathered at the Russell Public Library to attend the launch of their decodable books, which are carefully sequenced books to help children with letter and sound relationships. A total of 33 books were launched at the event, and after the launch, older students paired off with younger students from Russell Public School to read them. The Kindergarten to Grade 2 students had great fun puzzling out the books, which were written not according to proper spelling, but according to how the words sound when read aloud.
“I didn’t know writing decodable books would be so much fun,” said Grade 7 student Carrie-Anne Murton. She said she enjoyed working with the district’s learning partners and her classroom teacher to develop a new skill and to help younger students read. “Decodable texts can help kids learn to read because it mixes words and sounds they may already know with ones they may not in order to crack the phonetic code. It was also good practice and reminders for us too.”
“I had no idea that I would have learned so much about reading,” said Violette Bisson, also in grade 7. “I thought I was done learning how to read until this project and I also learned that there’s not a certain age where you stop learning, you’re always learning something new.”
« This has been a great experience,” said Grade 8 student Andrew An. “It was fun to see the kids read our words, see our images, and engage with what we did.”
The project was launched to bring attention to social justice issues and the Ontario Human Rights Commission Right to Read inquiry, as well as promote literacy in younger students. Two groups had half an hour each in the library, after which they were invited back to Russell High School for pizza and ice cream.