South Oaks School

February 2020

Principal's Message - Why Read?

In this day and age, it is very easy to fill our life with screen time. The same is true for our children, of course. Since screen time consists largely of viewing videos and photos, there is often not a lot of opportunity to actually process written text. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my screen time as much as the next person, but I am careful to carve out some time each week to read. Why is that important?

One very basic reason is that we learn to read by reading. Building a system of reading in our brain literally takes years. It starts with children hearing a lot of language, being read to, and eventually learning to read independently, step by step, piece by piece. Over the years, I have seen a number of children who appeared to have been "natural readers". It seemed like they simply just picked up reading without any effort whatsoever. I think this is a myth.

When I have talked with the parents of these children, the response is usually the same. The parents say something like, "I didn't do anything". Then, as they reflect a little bit, they say "I just read to my child when they were babies, provided lots of exposure to books at home, modeled reading for them, took them to libraries, played with letters/words, did lots of writing over the years, etc." It all comes down to exposure. That was their superpower as parents.

Of course, there are very legitimate learning disabilities and not all children will pick up reading simply through exposure. However, I would predict that the majority of children will. So, when we ask the question, "Why Read?", the answer is simply, because that is how we learn to read. I Love to Read month is just a reminder to all of us that we need to create the conditions at home and at school for kids to gain exposure and experience with Literacy. Without this, they may have a very difficult time becoming Literate individuals. That is not the legacy we want to leave for our children.

I Love to Read... Fairy Tales!

South Oaks students, HELP! Rapunzel is trapped in a tall tower and she needs your help to be freed! You can help free Rapunzel by reading lots of books at home in February. The more you read, the longer Rapunzel’s hair will grow. Once her hair is longer than the tower, she can be saved! Rapunzel needs every student to read at least 10 picture books or 2 chapter books (appropriate to his/her reading level) at home by February 26 to ensure her hair will be long enough! Parents, if your child is not yet reading independently, please help him/her participate by reading books to your child.

Check out the South Oaks online calendar for special events like: Read with a Magical Pal (Stuffy), Read with a Torch (Flashlight), Read in Your Pajamas and “I Read Canadian” Day. Other special events include Guest Readers from GVS and a Book Fair. Please visit our Open House on February 27 from 4:30 - 6:00, to see what we’ve been up to!

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Dates to Remember

Jan. 30: Opening Assembly "I Love to Read Month" @ 9:15 am

Jan. 31: Admin/PD Day - No classes

Feb. 6: Grade 3/4 Choir sings at Manitoba Moose game

Feb. 17: Louis Riel Day - No classes

Feb. 21: Admin/PD Day - No classes

Feb. 24-28: Book Fair (see above calendar for times)

Feb. 27: Celebration of Learning 4:30 - 6:00 pm

Feb. 27: Closing Assembly "I Love to Read Month" @ 9:15 am

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Book Fair Details

The book fair will be open from February 24-28 in the library. Students will once again have a chance to browse the books with their class. They will make a "wish list" so you as parents can decide if you want to buy anything. In the past we've had trouble with children bringing money to school, so we encourage no money to be sent with your child. If you wish to purchase anything, parents are welcome to come to the library anytime from Mon-Thurs between 8:45 - 11:30 am or 12:30 - 4:00 pm. Thursday evening we will be open until 7 pm. On Friday, we will be open until noon only. If you wish to go with your child, please arrange to come during a recess break or after school, so the classes are not interrupted.

Stars of the Future Update

In the past we have forwarded information regarding the Stars of the Future program for 3 years old children. Unfortunately, the program has been cancelled and there are no plans at this time to replace it with anything else similar.

Roseau River Bible Camp

It's hard to believe some days, but summer is coming! Roseau River Bible Camp is one of the great camp options for your child once school is out for the summer. Follow the link for information about the camp:

We are also pleased to announce that we plan to hold our grade 4 farewell event at Roseau River Camp on June 22. This is a change from the Goldeye's game event in the past. Parent feedback has suggested that it was time for a change, so we are trying something new!

Reminder - Kindergarten Registration for 2020-21

If your child is eligible for Kindergarten Registration (must be five years of age on or before Dec. 31, 2020), and have not yet registered, it is helpful if this is done by March 1st. Our new online registration process takes only a few minutes to complete. To begin, visit the HSD Kindergarten Registration page at

Registering early will assist our school in preparation and planning for the upcoming school year. Early registration also provides parents/guardians with the opportunity to participate in upcoming orientation activities.