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Ligonier Valley elementary schools implement program

| Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, 10:50 p.m.

Ligonier Valley School District is seeking volunteers for an upcoming career and reading-focused event at its elementary schools.

Parents and members of the community are invited to read aloud at “Fall Into Reading” at Laurel Valley Elementary School or “Fall Into Careers” at R.K. Mellon Elementary School on Nov. 27. The events will focus on the value of reading as well as career exploration.

According to literacy coordinator Amy Brown, the programs at both schools will include about an hour of volunteers reading books related to either the importance of family or careers.

“It's always good to have a model reading aloud,” Brown said. “When you have a fluent reader reading to someone who is not fluent, hearing the fluency and intonation of the voice is helpful. The kids really like it.”

In addition to hearing volunteers read, students will participate in paired reading from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., a practice that allows younger students to hear older children read aloud.

“The younger students really look up to the older students,” Brown said. “They don't very often get to interact with them, so this is a huge deal for them. They just really cherish spending time with the older students because that's going to be them someday, and the older student really like working with the younger students because this is their opportunity to shine.”

According to R.K. Mellon Elementary School guidance counselor Amy Salay, switching up the typical reading lesson for students “puts a different focus on reading for them.”

“I think it creates more interest in reading for them,” she said.

Each school will also have a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) presentation for approximately an hour. It will be facilitated by Heather Kaecher from the Eastern Westmoreland Career and Technology Center and will focus on graphic communications, computer engineering technology and mechatronics, a multidisciplinary form of engineering.

Kathryn Sclesky, the guidance counselor at Laurel Valley Elementary School, said the day's two-hour early dismissal schedule makes for a good opportunity to plan something fun for students.

“They love it,” she said. “It's a nice break-up from their schedule.

Anyone interested in volunteering at either event should contact Amy Brown at

Nicole Chynoweth is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-2862 or