Learning together

Lynd family night puts focus on literacy, as well as fun

Lana Tran and Isla Snodgrass worked together on a craft project where kids could make different shapes. It was just one of the learning activities at a Family Night event at Lynd Public School this week.

LYND — The gymnasium at Lynd Public School was set up with lots of different activities, from building and robotics toys, to word games like Boggle. But the Family Night event held Thursday at the school wasn’t only about having fun – adults were also learning ways to help students build literacy skills.

Family Night is a regular event at Lynd School, said Principal Jason Swenson.

“We try to do two in a year,” he said. One Family Night is usually held in October, and one in the spring. Thursday’s event included a meal, a parent education session and time for family fun.

While Thursday’s event was open to all, Swenson said there was a focus on Early Childhood Family Education and literacy education.

While kids played in the gym, parents were in a separate classroom. There, Lynd teachers talked about ways to help students in preschool and elementary school learn letters and sound out words.

Reading to kids, and pointing out letters in everyday situations, were both helpful, said Briana Williams. She also talked about different games and activities with letters.

“A new way of teaching letter sounds is looking at how the sound is formed,” Williams said. She showed the group a set of flashcards with pictures showing the shapes of people’s mouths when making different letter sounds.

Roshawn Galle also talked with families about activities to help kids with sounding out and decoding words, and making sentences.

Parents later came back to the gym to play learning games and crafts with students.

“Every year, it’s a little different with the games and setup,” Swenson said.

Swenson said Lynd School has been focusing on literacy skills. He said the school uses UFLI Foundations, which is a phonics-based curriculum for kindergarten through second grade that has been approved by the Minnesota Department of Education.

“We also have a core group of teachers going through LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) training,” he said.

Stacy O’Leary, a Title I teacher at Lynd, said staff are seeing a change in students’ confidence about reading.

“Kids are more engaged and participating more,” Swenson said.


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