Hudson Rotary Club, teachers hold summer reading workshops

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Hudson Rotary Club, teachers hold summer reading workshops
Kids participated in a readers theater at Hudson High School last week. (Photo/Caroline Gordon)

HUDSON – With sponsorship from the Rotary Club and help from Hudson teachers and the Hudson High School Interact Club, community members gathered together this summer to help parents support their elementary school-aged children’s reading skills.

Zach Maule, a rotarian and father, said the idea for the event came to him when his daughter was working with reading specialist Julie McGowan.

“Observing her [McGowan] and learning a bunch of stuff myself was really useful to how I was interacting with my kids,” Maule said. “In addition, as a result of lost learning these past few years, we want to do things to catch our kids up.”

He then discussed the idea with McGowan and Hudson High School social studies teacher and adviser of the Interact Club Pam Porter, who had wanted the club to host a reading program for Hudson children.

“The program has been a large success as a result of Pam and Julie’s efforts,” he said.

Parents, students hone skills

The program, called Hawks Read, spanned four days over the past several weeks.

In one room, parents were instructed by McGowan on tips and tricks on reading literacy. In another room, the children were working with teachers from Hudson Public Schools on the concepts taught to the parents.

The skills parents and children honed during the workshops included reading comprehension, oral reading fluency, motivating a reluctant reader and goal setting.

Parents also observed the teachers educating their children, and they could then later mimic those skills at home. The next time the group met, participants reviewed the concepts that the children struggled with.

Then last Thursday, the students — dressed in costumes in front of colorful, handmade sets — performed in a readers theater.

Porter said the workshops were free and made up of volunteers who wanted to “take action on literacy.”

Some of Porter’s high school students had not signed up for all four nights of the workshops, but attended anyway because they enjoyed working with the kids.

Porter said she hopes the event will spark other ways she, her fellow teachers and the Rotary Club could support the community’s education. She noted feedback from parents will be helpful.

Maule said a parent approached him and said this workshop is “exactly what they need as parents.”

“This is a community effort, to bring Hudson Public School teachers, the Rotary Club, the Interact Club, and parents and their kids together,” Maule said.

He added, “As a dad and someone who lives here in Hudson, not that anyone needs anymore evidence on how dedicated the Hudson Public School teachers are, but here they are — in the summertime [and] on their own time. They’re awesome.”

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