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Books provide magic carpet ride

William Ferchland, Tahoe Daily Tribune

Bijou Community School students took a magic carpet ride through the land of literature Monday morning.

A storytelling presentation, called the “Carpet One Magic Carpet Time Tour ‘Around the World in a Day,’ ” assisted Bijou with its reading program by providing several examples of children’s books set in international cultures.

The school received a two-year $400,000 Reading Excellence Act grant last summer that helps students catch up to the appropriate reading level by third grade, said Deb Wright, the reading coach at Bijou.

Al Tahoe Elementary School also received an REA grant.

Wright watched the presentation at Bijou Monday, as a genie, daydreamer and librarian evoked giggles and glee from students stationed on small squares of carpet.

“Do you kids want to go to Africa?” the genie asked.

More than 100 tiny lungs filled with air and exhaled with a resounding “Yeah!”

Students grabbed the sides of their mat and rocked back and forth. One girl fell on her back and shyly looked over her shoulder to see if her teacher spotted her.

“It installs the fun of reading and makes them realize that reading can take you anywhere,” Wright said.

The Saturday morning-like show took reading tours to Mexico, Africa, China and Italy.

“Pinnochio,” for example, was the book for Italy.

Jason Flores, 6, was kneeling on his carpet to get a better view of the zany characters.

“I’ve read about a lot of books,” said Flores, a first-grader. “Reading makes me very, very smart so that I can teach my class.”

The reading program at Bijou identifies weak readers and strengthens reading skills by using the Waterford Reading Interactive Program — a computer program.

The program also allows children to manipulate certain stories to make a book of their own, Wright said.

A literacy team meets twice a month to look over assessments of students’ reading performance.

Erica Torres held her carpet square and her copy of “Eeyore Finds Friends,” which each student received after the show.

“I like to read because it’s my favorite thing to do,” she said.


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