Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Some second grade students at La Escuela Fratney are enjoying reading time at the school’s library.
Watching a student enjoying a book makes Mayra Negron’s day.
As the librarian at Milwaukee Public Schools’ La Escuela Fratney since 2003, Negron helps students find books they will enjoy to grow their interest in reading. She’s an avid reader and wants to inspire a new generation of readers.
“Every student comes to the library at least once a week, some more often than others,” said Negron. Her secret to get students to read is simple.
“It’s not just about picking up any book and sitting down and reading it, it’s about finding the right kind of book for the student,” she said. By that she means whether or not the student will understand what they’re reading.
“If they don’t get what they’re reading they will lose interest,” Negron said. “You want them to understand what they’re reading because it will help connect them with the book and they’ll want to read more.”
Reading comprehension is key to literacy and the focus of National Children’s Book Week, May 2-8.
Negron finds introducing students to picture books or graphic novels is a good way to ease young students into reading to develop their interest and skill.
“The illustrations and words tie in well together in graphic novels so it keeps students interested and usually they want to keep reading to finish the story,” she said.
Negron said as students’ reading skills improve, they move onto more challenging books. Popular children’s books at Fratney include “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” and “Harry Potter.”
Fratney’s library has extensive book collections in English and Spanish. Negron enjoys keeping the library organized and working with students and staff. Her goal always is to get kids reading.
“If a student doesn’t like to read, I want to awaken their interest in reading,” Negron said.