UCS Family Literacy Connection

Growing Readers - Spring 2022

Welcome Parents and Caregivers,

This spring edition of the UCS Family Literacy Connection includes a celebration of reading, not just in March, but all year long. You will also find helpful tips and suggestions for your child who may be taking part in state assessments in the upcoming months.


Developing successful readers along with a love of reading is a shared mission across the district. Your partnership and consistent adult support at home are key contributors to your child's educational success. We look forward to a continued partnership to create a culture of reading not only at school but at home as well.

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Testing Resources and Support for M-Step and Beyond!

Schools across the state, and country, will soon be administering annual standardized tests for students in grade three through eleventh grade. As a parent, you can help prepare your child to ease any stress they may be experiencing and ensure a positive testing situation. The Smore link below includes many tips and suggestions from useful test-taking strategies, to practice tests, to reducing testing anxiety.


Click HERE for more Resources and Support to help your child prepare for the M-Step and Beyond!

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Becoming A Reader - - Helping Your Child Become a Reader

Learning to read begins at home through everyday interactions with children, long before they attend school. Your continued support of literacy development as children enter elementary school and progress through the grades positively affects their reading ability. Every step a child takes toward learning to read leads to another. Bit by bit, the child builds the knowledge that is necessary for being a reader. Over their first 6 years, most children

  • Talk and listen.
  • Listen to stories read aloud.
  • Pretend to read.
  • Learn how to handle books.
  • Learn about print and how it works.
  • Identify letters by name and shape.
  • Identify separate sounds in spoken language.
  • Write with scribbles and drawing.
  • Connect single letters with the sounds they make.
  • Connect what they already know to what they hear read.
  • Predict what comes next in stories and poems.
  • Connect combinations of letters with sounds.
  • Recognize simple words in print.
  • Sum up what a story is about.
  • Write individual letters of the alphabet.
  • Write words.
  • Write simple sentences.
  • Write to communicate.
  • Read simple books.


Children can take more than one of these steps at the same time. This list of steps, though, gives you a general idea of how your child will progress toward reading. (For more details, see Typical Language Accomplishments for Children, Birth to Age 6.)


From your child's toddler years through early first grade, you also should look for books of poems and rhymes. Remember when your baby heard your talking sounds and tried to imitate them? Rhymes are an extension of that language skill. By hearing and saying rhymes, along with repeated words and phrases, your child learns about spoken sounds and about words. Rhymes also spark a child's excitement about what comes next, which adds fun and adventure to reading. (For rhyming activities, see "Rhyme with Me: It's Fun, You'll See!")



US Department of Education offers more on Helping Your Child Become A Reader!

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Celebrate Reading All Year Long

National Drop Everything And Read (D.E.A.R.) Day April 12, 2022

D.E.A.R. stands for "Drop Everything and Read," a national celebration of reading designed to remind families to make reading a priority activity in their lives.

Reading Rockets is pleased to be a founding partner of National D.E.A.R. Day celebrated every year on April 12th. That's the birthday of beloved author Beverly Cleary, whose characters Ramona and older sister Beezus are now favorites of a new generation of readers. On this day, families are encouraged to take at least 30 minutes to put aside all distractions and enjoy books together. What will you be reading?


Click here for more D.E.A.R. activities from Reading Rockets!

Children's Book Week May 2-8, 2022

Children’s Book Week is the annual celebration of books for young people and the joy of reading.


Established in 1919, Children’s Book Week is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country. Every year, young people across the country participate by attending events at schools, libraries, bookstores, celebrating at home, and engaging with book creators both online and in person.


Kids everywhere can join in the fun of Children’s Book Week. The How Do You Book? Challenge asks young readers to explore what they read, how they read, and where they read. Kids of all ages can participate on their own, with adults, or in groups, using the provided activity ideas and questions. Click here for resources to participate!!

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Book Recommendations - - April is National Poetry Month

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Michigan Learning Channel Presents: Read, Write, ROAR! with Virtual Literacy Lessons!

Read, Write, ROAR! is an English Language Arts program for kindergarten through 3rd Grade learners. Each lesson helps students build literacy skills through word-building lessons, read-alouds, writing exercises, exploring informational text, and more. Taught by Michigan teachers from across the state, the program features lessons aligned with state standards and teaching techniques while demonstrating the research-based best practices outlined in Michigan’s Literacy Essentials.
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