SPARTA, NJ- This summer a Principals’ Challenge has been issued by the principals of Mohawk Avenue School and Alpine School, together with the Elementary Language Arts Supervisor.   Laura Trent, Guiseppe Leone and Leala Baxter have developed a program to have students continue to practice their skills in reading, writing and math over the summer.  The Principals’ Challenge is also being sponsored by the PTOs. 

By providing three challenge options, the expectation is that students will be able to better maintain their skills and possibly even advance over the summer.  Students and their families can choose any or all of the challenges.  When they return to school in September and hand in their reading logs, stories and math calendars they will receive recognition for their accomplishments. 

The Reading Challenge is for students to read or have read to them 20 picture or beginning readers or four chapter books.  There is a suggested reading list available on the Alpine website under Principal’s Challenge.

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The Writing Challenge is for students to compose six stories or journal entries over the summer months.  There are suggested topics available or they may choose to create their own.

The Math Challenge for the first, second and third grade students is to consistently practice problem solving, computation and math facts each day.  The goal is to have 500 minutes of practice by September’s return to school.  The school has provided a number of recommended web sites or the families can create activities of their own.  Their daily practice is to be recorded on a calendar also provided by the school. 

Leone said, "I am challenging Alpine Elementary School students to make reading, math and writing a part of their summer.  The activities we have selected will help students maintain healthy habits such as reading for enjoyment, writing daily and keeping math facts fresh.  We are looking forward to see how many of our students meet the challenge.”

Trent, Leone and Baxter suggest using the Five Finger Rule to help choose a book that is appropriate for the child’s reading level.  The rule suggests that the child choose a book and read the first page or two, putting up a finger for each word that is unfamiliar.  If there are only two or three fingers raised by the end of the first two pages, the book is likely to be a correct choice.  Any more than that and you should consider another option.

Trent said, "I look forward to seeing how many students participate in this years challenge. I also look forward to being with third grade in the fall."

All of the resources, including the Reading lists and logs, Writing prompts, Math calendars and various web site recommendations are available on the Alpine and Mohawk Avenue Schools’ home pages.