Category Archives: Literacy

Crespo ES student wins annual MLK Jr. Oratory Competition

Fourth-grader wins $1,000 prize for original speech inspired by civil rights leader 

Crepo Elementary School fourth-grader Brandon Curbow tackled the timely topics of school safety and gun control while presenting his winning speech at the 24th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Oratory Competition. 

Curbow was awarded first place for his original speech that walked the audience through the feelings a student grapples with during an active shooter drill. 

The event was held Friday at the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church of Christ in downtown Houston. Curbow was among 12 HISD students to participate in the final round of the competition sponsored by Foley & Lardner LLP.  

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Students at Cornelius ES celebrate becoming published authors

While most people dream of becoming published authors in their adulthood, students at Cornelius Elementary School celebrated the unveiling of their first published books with an exclusive signing and reading on Tuesday.  

Surrounded by family, friends and classmates, it was hard to miss one student—fourth-grader and MLK Oratory Winner David Ozuzu, who wore a smile that filled the room as he officially signed one of his three books that would reside in the campus library.   

“I’ve been writing since kindergarten, and it’s really exciting to see all of my ideas come to life in my very own book,” David said. 

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‘Camp Lit’ celebration at Minute Maid Park kicks off HISD summer school  

Music, fun and laughter filled Minute Maid Park On Thursday as HISD kicked off summer school for thousands of students, ushering in the district’s second year of “Camp Lit” for literacy.  

“We have 5,000 students here today that are representing over 70 HISD schools,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “Not only will our students leave here with books for their own personal library, but we have a number of students here that have never been to Minute Maid Park, so it’s a wonderful learning opportunity for them.” 

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Second-graders to receive backpacks filled with books for summer reading

It doesn’t take long for students to lose some of the academic progress they have made during the school year by sitting idle over the summer, so HISD is challenging second-graders to use the power of reading to combat the dreaded “summer slide.” 

HISD is providing all second-grade students with a summer backpack filled with six books, a reading journal, graphic organizers, at-home family activities, reading log, colored pencils and a postcard. Experts agree that children who read during the summer months keep their reading skills sharp and are better prepared for the challenges of the next grade level. 

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Explore the unknown through Houston Public Library’s Summer reading program

Summer is the perfect time for students to hone their reading skills, and thanks to a partnership with the Houston Public Library, they can have fun while doing just that. 

HISD is encouraging students to join the Houston Public Library’s summer reading program for kids and teens called “Explore the Unknown,” which kicks off June 1 and runs through Aug. 1. 

Students can receive a free book and lanyard simply by registering. At each prize level, students earn another book and pins to decorate their lanyards and show off their success. They can earn pins by reaching their reading goals, attending library activities, and being an active member in their communities.  

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Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation donates thousands of books to HISD students

There’s nothing quite like the excitement of a new book, and students at HISD’s Browning Elementary School on Thursday got to experience that thrill thanks to the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation.  

Every student at Browning received six new books as part of the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation’s My Home Library program, which aims to build home libraries for economically disadvantaged children.  

“To see the children finally receive the books that they have chosen is so heartwarming,” said Julie Baker Finck, President of the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation. “They are so excited to start reading, and that is what it is all about – helping empower children to have a choice in what they read and helping them to have the tools and resources to read more often.” 

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HISD student writers to read their work at Discovery Green

More than 60 HISD students have been selected to read at the Writers in the Schools “Blooms: Young Writers Reading” event at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 4.

These students will be sharing their original poems, stories and essays on stage at Discovery Green. Congratulations to the following students for being selected:

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C. Martinez ES teachers to read bedtime stories via Facebook Live

The Houston Independent School District’s C. Martinez Elementary School is starting a weekly Facebook livestream event to focus on literacy. 

Every Tuesday evening, students can login to Facebook (CMES Readers Den) for “A Night in the Wolves Den” and listen to a special guest read a bedtime story.  The intent is to help build literacy at home by engaging with CMES teachers and staff in a way that is current and fun. 

To join in, add CMES Readers Den as a friend on Facebook and turn in on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. to hear a bedtime story read by a teacher. 

Winter reading program encourages students to read, earn prizes 

Winter break is the perfect time for students to catch up on their favorite books, hone their reading skills, and earn a free book from their local Houston Public Library.

HISD is encouraging students to join the Houston Public Library’s winter reading program for kids and teens. From Dec. 15 through Jan. 15, students are encouraged to read or be read to 20 minutes a day for 10 days.

Students can read anything they like. Books, comics, newspapers, magazine articles, blogs, web pages, listen to an audiobook or have someone read to aloud; all of these types of reading count. The Houston Public Library’s Readers’ Advisory staff can also create a personalized reading list.  Continue reading

CYCLE Houston rewards students’ literacy achievements with bikes

Thousands of HISD second-graders from across the district will be awarded bicycles for achieving their reading goals for the semester.

Through the CYCLE (Changing Young Children’s Lives through Education) bike program, students worked with teachers to create personalized literacy goals to help boost their reading skills. Each student signed a contract that once those goals were achieved, they would be awarded a brand-new bicycle and helmet.

According to CYCLE, the program not only helps students achieve grade-level reading, it teaches them that hard work equals reward. Students at Eliot Elementary School were so excited about the prospect of earning a bicycle, they came to school early, stayed late, and tracked their own reading progress for months. Continue reading