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Winston-Salem nonprofit holds reading parties to improve literacy

WINSTON-SALEM-- Quadedra Davis wants to make reading fun for her children.

“We read before we go to bed,” Davis said. “We put up sight words. Sometimes I may put them in different shapes in their rooms.”

She has a third grader, a first grader, and two twin boys at Ashley Elementary School.

Even though Davis is a teacher herself, she and other parents are learning new ways to teach pre-reading skills to their kids by attending reading parties.

“If you don’t have that foundation of reading, it makes it 10 times harder once you get into an elementary school,” Davis said.

The nonprofit ReadWS holds reading parties every other week at schools, recreation centers, and libraries.

“We have done it at the Boys and Girls Club,” said Tonya Nealon, parent education coordinator for ReadWS. “We’ve done a party at SciWorks. We’ve done it at Children’s Museum.

Each party has five reading stations where kids use letters, rhyming, and even physical movement where kids hop to each word or syllable in a sentence.

“We can give them these simple tools that are easy and they’re inexpensive to do so that they can make sure that their child is on the right path to reading,” Nealon said.

With help from the Winston-Salem Community Foundation, Read WS is able to host the parties for parents with children ages four through eight.

“These are all things that parents can do at home,” said Henri Brown, executive director of ReadWS. “They can go in their kitchen say ‘go find everything in the kitchen that starts with the sound ba.’”

Davis says she has picked up some good techniques.

“Definitely something I’ll be using at home,” Davis said.

The next reading party will be held at Carter G. Woodson Elementary School in Winston-Salem on March 2nd.

The reading parties are free, but you have to register first.

Learn more about ReadWS here.