February Focus

On February 3, 2016 students at BFA Elementary celebrated 100 days of school, for this school year. Student’s engaged in critical thinking and used manipulatives to demonstrate 100 Days of School.

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Students and community members were also provided with an event at the Fairfax Community Library, as the 100 day celebration continued.

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A special visitor entered the library to engage in a literacy event. Notice how this big comfy chair is empty?

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That is because four furry paws were capturing the attention of the children

Adison , 6, is practicing reading aloud. “This is good, thought Sam, I need food,” said Adison. Rather than read to a teacher or her peers, Adison is reading to someone who can’t talk back. “I like pie. Mackenzie would like that too,” said Adison.

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Mackenzie is a 6-year-old Newfoundland, a big, furry dog whose job is to listen to Adison read.  Mackenzie here is a trained good listener. That’s because she’s a Reading Education Assistance Dog. That’s just one of her many titles. “She’s also a pet partner’s therapy dog,” said Nancy McKee, dog handler. McKee is a retired reading teacher. She now travels around with Mackenzie to meet with students.

“There’s no one else around. We have a nice little quiet area here. And we can just sit down and hang out and read with a dog,” said McKee.

This opportunity provides children to practice their fluency and their reading skills with an audience who is not going to judge them.

The Read with a Dog program is catered for students ages 5 to 10. The Fairfax Community Library (which is also the BFA School Library) hosted the program for four years.

The signup sheet fills up for the dog’s visits every other week.  While the students are reading, they keep their hands on MacKenzie while McKee holds the book. McKee says that helps the reader get comfortable reading to the big animal. MacKenzie doesn’t seem to mind.  If people want to read with Mackenzie, they can call the Fairfax Community Library to sign up for time with the big dog.

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Target 3 – Flexible Learning Environments. FWSU will maximize flexible learning environments by redefining the school day, promoting learning experiences that extend beyond the school classroom, and fostering creativity, innovation, and differentiated learning opportunities for all.

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