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Student/Parent Handbook

2015-2016 School Year


This handbook contains useful information for both parents and students regarding the daily operations of Flamingo Elementary School.


Arrival and YMCA

Students who are not enrolled in the YMCA program must NOT arrive to school before 7:30 a.m. (We do not have supervision until 7:30 a.m.)


  • Students eating breakfast at school should NOT arrive before 7:30 a.m.  Breakfast is served from 7:30 a.m. - 8:15 a.m.  Students are to report to the cafeteria for breakfast.

  • Students enrolled in the YMCA program must NOT report to school before 7:00 a.m. The YMCA offers a fee based morning supervision program in the cafeteria beginning at 7:00 a.m.

  • All 2nd and 5th graders will report to the cafeteria upon arrival (The teacher’s name will be posted on a table and students should sit quietly at their assigned table.) Adult supervision will be provided.

  • All 3rd and 4th graders will report to the P.E. shelter upon arrival (7:30 a.m. – 8:35 a.m.). Adult supervision will be provided.

  • Kindergarten and first graders should wait by their classrooms.

  • School security personnel will monitor the 7th Avenue pick up/drop off area.

  • Students arriving at 8:30 a.m. or after are considered tardy.  Classroom doors will be locked at the 8:35 a.m. bell.

  • Tardy students must wait at the main office in order to pick up a tardy slip before being allowed into their classroom.


  • Pre-kindergarten through grade one students must be picked-up promptly by parents, private bus or walking home in groups at 1:50 p.m.; grades two through five students at 3:05 p.m. each day. On Wednesday, all students are dismissed at 1:50 p.m.  Supervision is not provided after school except in the YMCA program.

  • Students who stay after school upon the request of a teacher or are serving a detention, must have transportation arranged in advanced.  NO CHILD should wait for a ride home.

  • The YMCA sponsors an after school care program in our cafeteria from 1:50 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. each school day.  If you are in need of after school child care, please see our school site director in the cafeteria at 1:50 p.m. each day. If you need additional information, please call the YMCA office at (305) 825-9622 before 2:00 p.m. or at (305) 693-8623 after 2:30 p.m.


If your child rides a private bus, be sure that the bus driver is not dropping students off at school before 7:30 a.m.  Please be sure your child is not being left after dismissal to wait for a second or third ride, as supervision is NOT provided after school except in the YMCA After School Care program.


We are urging parents to cooperate in following guidelines in order to protect your child’s safe arrival to and dismissal from school.


It is most important for students to attend school daily.  Please schedule dental and doctors’ appointments outside of school hours.  Do not allow your child to miss school unless he/she is really sick.  Remember that we can’t teach your child unless he/she is in school.  Rainy or cool mornings are not a reason to be absent from school.  The following are considered excused school absences: a. Student illness.  b. Medical appointment.  c. Death in the family.  d. Observance of a religious holiday or service observed.  e.  School-sponsored event or activity previously approved.  Any absence that does not fall into one of the above excused absence categories is to be considered unexcused.  All unexcused absences will result in a failing grade being issued for the day(s) in question.  A student accumulating five (5) or more unexcused absences during each semester will be subject to the withholding of passing final semester grades.


If your child is sick and needs to be absent, you must send a note the day he or she returns to school stating the reason for the absence. The note must be given to his/her teacher.


Please encourage and help your child to be on time.  Punctuality must be learned early in order to become a valuable habit.  However, if for any reason your child is late, have him/her stop at the main office and get a tardy pass in order to be admitted to class. Teachers lock their doors promptly at 8:35 a.m. If your child is continuously tardy, the time will have to be made up after school.


Students who are absent from school, tardy and/or leave school before the end of the school day miss teacher instruction, oral activities, class participation, homework assignments and time to work on computer programs.  This lost school time cannot be made up.  However, these students will be required to make–up all missed classroom and homework assignments. A reasonable amount of time will be given students to make–up missed work.  Teachers will record in the grade book a 0 for work not made–up or incomplete and will be required to lower report card grades by one letter grade in the subjects missed.  Students who are frequently absent cannot be on the honor roll.

Truancy Intervention Program

The Miami-Dade County State attorney’s office and the Miami-Dade County Public Schools have created a Truancy Intervention Program (T.I.P.).  Flamingo Elementary School has been participating in this program since the 1997-1998 school year.  This program is designed to identify truancy at its earliest stages, and monitor and enforce Florida’s mandatory school attendance laws.  After five (5) unexcused absences a child’s school records will be subpoenaed by the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office for review.  If this review indicates a need for intervention, a mandatory meeting will be held with the parents, administrative staff and social service personnel and a representative from the State Attorney’s Office in an attempt to remedy the circumstances causing the child’s truancy. 


Keep in mind that M-DCPS School Board Policy addresses absenteeism.  Students who accrue 10 or more unexcused absences for the year can be retained. Students who miss a lot of school time with excused absences, arriving late or leaving early can also be retained unless all class and homework is made up and the student performs at a passing level on tests and demonstrates mastery of the Sunshine State Standards.

Breakfast Lunch Program

The school cafeteria provides breakfast and lunch for the students.  Breakfast is served from 7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m.





Full price No Charge   $1.75
Reduced price No Charge $0.40


Free or reduced price lunches are available to families who qualify according to federal guidelines based upon income.  Applications will be sent home on the first day of school.


Breakfast and/or lunches should be paid in advance on the first day of the school week.  If unable to make the payment in person, please send the lunch money to the teacher in a sealed envelope with the child’s name and room number on the outside of the envelope.  Cards are prepared by the cafeteria manager and children are not charged when absent.  We have limited seating space in the cafeteria.  Parents are not permitted to eat lunch with their child or remain in the cafeteria unless authorized by the Principal. Please remember to report to the office and obtain a visitor’s pass before you go anywhere in the school.

Calling our school

Our staff has voice mail to receive telephone messages.  If you need to contact our teachers, see the voice mailbox roster.


Special bulletins will be sent home from time to time.  They will tell you about school activities, events, and special dates. For more information about our school, our mission, programs, initiatives and links to educational sites, please access the school’s website at http://flamingo.dadeschools.net

Complaints about teachers

Parents whom have complaints should be directed to the school and resolved by the personnel at the school.  The first thing to do is to discuss the concerns with the teacher.  Many times, you will find that a misunderstanding is simply a lack of communication and you can resolve the matter by sitting down and talking it out.  If there still appears to be a problem, the next step is to request an appointment with the assistant principal or the principal.


Parent - teacher conferences are an important part of our school program.  Please keep in close touch with your child’s teacher concerning his/her progress.  Call the school office at 691-5531 or write a note to schedule a conference with your child's teacher.  You may also leave a telephone message in the teacher’s voice mailbox. (See appendix) They will return your call.  A scheduled conference is important so that the teacher is available to meet with you.  Conferences will not be allowed during times the teacher is providing instruction to the class.


All parents have the right to send their children to school to receive an education uninterrupted by unruly students.  The Flamingo Elementary administration and staff intend to protect your rights, even if it means we may have to resort to suspension, expulsion or exclusion of students from school.  The Miami - Dade County School Board has authorized the superintendent of schools and the principal to take disciplinary action against students who may:

  • Violate the established code of conduct of a school.

  • Possess, use, handle or transmit guns, knives or other dangerous weapons. Even toy guns, metal nail files and pocket knives are not permitted at school.

  • Use any article as a weapon to create threat.

  • Assault other students or school personnel.

  • Commit lewd or lascivious acts.

  • Set fire to, or otherwise vandalize school property.

  • Continue to misbehave in a manner that is detrimental to the educational functions of the school.

While we recognize that most students and parents neither condone nor participate in the misbehavior outlines, we ask your cooperation in making certain that your son/daughter understands the need for responsible behavior.  We know that you share our desire for Flamingo Elementary to be a safe place where each student can be involved in meaningful learning experiences.


Please review the Student Code of Conduct with your child. (See appendix) 

Early Dismissal

If it is necessary for your child to leave school before the regular dismissal time, please report to the main office to sign a release slip. You must bring a picture I.D.

Field Trips

Teachers may schedule special field trips for students.  All monies for field trips are due 3 days before the scheduled trip.

Home Learning

  • Home learning is required for all students five days a week.

Grades K, 1 & 2:       30 minutes of home learning per night

Grades 3 and 4:        40 minutes of home learning per night

Grades 5 and 6:        60 minutes of home learning per night


In a      In addition to regular home learning, all students are required to read or to be read to for 30 minutes each day.  Reading logs as well as response journals may also be assigned in addition to regular home learning.


All students are required to read a minimum of 5 books each grading period. A log of books read for each student will be kept on file in your child’s reading folder.


Home learning should be neat with papers properly headed with name, date and subject area. 

All home learning must be for practice and review.  Home learning reinforces skills that the teacher has taught in the classroom.

 Honor Roll Guidelines

The following special awards will be issued each grading period to eligible students.


PRINCIPAL’S HONOR ROLL GUIDELINES- Students who earn all "A" grades on their report cards in both academic subject areas and conduct will be eligible for the Principal’s Honor Roll and will receive a special ribbon with their report card.


HONOR ROLL- Students who earn A and B grades or all B grades on their report cards in both academic subject areas and conduct will be eligible for the Honor Roll and will receive a special ribbon with their report card.


PERFECT ATTENDANCE- Students who have perfect attendance for the nine weeks grading period will be eligible for a special ribbon that will be issued with their report card.


EXCELLENT CONDUCT- Students who have excellent conduct (All A’s on their report card for each nine week grading period) will be eligible for a special ribbon that will be issued with their report card.

Ill Children

Make arrangements in the event that your child should become ill at school.  Emergency treatment will be provided but the school cannot be responsible for a sick child all day long, and we are not allowed to administer medication at school, with a written doctor’s certificate.  Transportation cannot be provided for sick children.


If your child is ill, please do not take chances and send him to school.  Allow the child at least 24 hours to recover from fever.  Please be sure that your child’ emergency contact card is complete, accurate, and kept up to date.

Learning Responsibility

A good instructional program has been planned for your child.  However, each child must assume responsibility for completion of tasks.  We seek your assistance in helping us to see that your child is meeting his/her responsibilities.

Lost and Found

Many personal items are lost by children and never claimed.  Lost items will be kept in the clinic until the end of the month.  Please fell free to come to the office to check the lost and found for your child’s lost articles.

Lost or Damaged Textbooks

Textbooks are given to all students.  The students may check out additional books from the room collection or library.  However, the classroom teacher or librarian must give permission for book check out. Damaged or lost books must be paid for by the students or parents.

Mandatory Uniform Dress Code

This means your child must wear his or her uniform to school everyday. Our uniform consists of navy blue pants and/or skirts with various combinations of navy blue and light blue tops. Female students may elect to wear a blue plaid skirt or jumper instead. The school uniform is an important part of our learning environment here at Flamingo Elementary.  Wearing a uniform promotes learning and safety while it enables us to identify students who belong to our school.  Thank you for your cooperation.

Pediculosis Capitis (Head Lice)

Head Lice is an on going problem in South Florida and unfortunately seems to be quite common in schools.  Please understand that children do not catch head lice from the school. They catch it from other children.  Parents should examine their children’s hair several times a week.  Learn what to look for by checking with the health department.  If you feel your child is infected, please contact the school office at (305) 691-5531 immediately so other parents can be alerted.  The office personnel will also tell you how to treat this condition.

Personal Belongings

Please mark your child’s clothing and personal belongings.  Names should be placed on all sweaters, coats, lunch boxes, etc.  This will help us in returning lost items.  Be sure to use first and last name. Items such as Electric Devices, cards, etc. should not be brought to school.

Physical Education Exemption Form

Physical Education is required for all students.  If your child is not able to participate in the program, your doctor must sign a note.  When a child has been ill for a day or so a note from the parent can be used instead of a doctor’s note.

Picture Money

Each year a photographer will be scheduled to take individual pictures of students.  Parents may elect to purchase pictures by paying for the pictures in advance.  All picture monies are due at least five days before the scheduled picture-taking day.  A special bulletin will be sent home with additional information.

Progress Reports

Report cards are issued every nine weeks.  Failure Notices, Interim - Progress Reports and/or Academic Improvement Plans are sent home at mid-point in the grading period.  This is to give you an opportunity to have a conference with your child and his teacher in the effort


In response to the No Child Left Behind Act, the Florida Legislature passed Florida Statute 1008.25 regarding student progression, remedial instruction, and reporting requirements. It is the intent of this legislation to eliminate social promotion and ensure that students’ promotion from one grade to another be determined, in part, upon proficiency in reading, writing, mathematics, and science and that each student and his/her parents be informed of that student’s academic progress.


As part of that legislation, students must participate in the statewide assessment program.  Students who do not meet specific levels of performance in reading, writing, science, and mathematics for each grade must be provided with additional diagnostic assessments to determine the nature of their difficulty and their areas of academic need. For each student with identified and diagnosed deficiencies, the teacher will develop an Academic Improvement Plan (AIP) in consultation with the student’s parent or guardian. In addition, as a method of communicating ongoing progress, a progress report will be sent home each grading period prior to report card distribution.

PTA/School Advisory Committee

Our PTA needs membership.  Please contact the principal, or Mrs. Mercy Towne, our community involvement specialist, if you are interested in participating in the PTA.

Rainy Days

It is very difficult for some children to get home at dismissal time when raining. 

PLEASE MAKE DEFINITE PLANS FOR YOUR CHILD TO GET HOME ON RAINY DAYS.  No office phone calls for rainy weather plans will be permitted.  Children will only be permitted to use the phone for emergencies.

Safety to and from School

  • All children are expected to use good safety habits to and from school.  Please review the following safety rules with your children:

  • Look both ways before crossing streets.

  • Cross at corners - use crosswalks

  • Use pedestrian light on LeJeune Road.

  • Do not cut through the parking lot.

  • Watch for cars pulling into parking lot.

  • Walk - do not run - in crowded areas.

  • Walk bicycles on school grounds.

  • If people in cars ask for directions, answer from the sidewalk, never approach an unknown car.

  • Travel to and from school with friends. Go directly home at dismissal.

  • Cooperate with the school safety patrols.  They are there for your safety.

School Hours

Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten and First Grade - 8:20 a.m. - 1:50 p.m.

Second through Fifth Grade - 8:35 a.m. - 3:05 p.m.

Wednesday (all students dismiss at the same time) - 1:50 p.m.


The first bell rings at 8:20 a.m.  The tardy bell rings promptly at 8:40 a.m.  Pupils should not report to school before 7:30 a.m. since there is no supervision before this time.  The breakfast program begins at 7:30 a.m. and the fee-based YMCA morning supervision program begins at 7:00 a.m.


Students are to go home immediately after dismissal time. Arrangements must be made to pick up students who are dismissed at 1:50 p.m. K-1 students are not permitted to wait for the dismissal of older brothers and sisters.  It is unsafe.  Students who wait disturb classes still in session.  Parents must pick up students at dismissal, arrange transportation or enroll students in after school care (YMCA). Bright Park behind the school has a supervised fee – based after school program.

School Rules

  • Our school consists of about 850 students and 100 adults who work together daily.  It is our wish to create an atmosphere that is friendly, cooperative and conducive to learning.  Since certain understandings are necessary to achieve this atmosphere as well as to protect the health and safety of our students, we have established the following school rules:

  • Cooperation, self control and respect for adults and other students is expected at all times.

  • Obey all adults and respect the safety patrol.

  • Walk on sidewalks, cross at pedestrian signals or at cross walks at all times.

  • Do not ride bikes on school grounds.  Do not ride double.

  • Pupils should arrive at school no earlier than 7:30 a.m. unless they are participating in the YMCA program, which starts at 7:00 a.m.

  • There is to be no running in the building.

  • Do not bring  toys of any kind to school. No radios, walkman, or beepers are permitted.

  • No hardballs, knives, guns or slingshots are permitted on the school    grounds at any time.

  • Do not throw rocks or any other objects.

  • Dogs and other pets are not permitted in the building or on the grounds.

  • Fighting or play wrestling is not allowed at any time.

  • Do not leave your classroom without a pass from your teacher.

  • Chewing gum, sodas and glass containers are prohibited.

  • Only money for lunch and special events is to be brought to school.

  • Students either bring lunch or buy lunch in the school cafeteria (no money is loaned by the office).

  • Shoes must be worn to school.  Metal taps on shoes are not permitted.

  • The use of profanity or name-calling is prohibited.

  • Should you observe anyone abusing any student or the school, it is your responsibility to report the incident to the office, your parents or the police.

  • Do not write on or deface school property, buildings, walls, desks, books, etc. (special attention to bathrooms).

  • Each time a pupil is absent, he is required to bring written excuse from his parents.

  • Hair combs or brushes may be brought to school but should be kept in the pocket and used only in the bathroom.

  • Hats are not to be worn in the building.

  • No valuables are to be brought to school.  We will not be responsible for jewelry or other expensive items if they are lost or stolen.



We will exert every effort to provide effective practice in good citizenship and character education.  Students will be asked to remain after school if the school feels it is necessary for disciplinary reasons.  Parents will be notified if unsatisfactory behavior persists.

School Volunteers

Parents who have free time are requested to volunteer their time to help students in the classroom.  Some activities that parents can assist teachers with include flashing word/math cards, listening to students read aloud, reading stories to the class, taking small groups to the library to select books and many other activities.  PARENTS, WE NEED YOUR HELP.  Come to the office anytime during the school year if you are able to be a volunteer and complete a volunteer application. Please be reminded that you will not be able to assist in the school or chaperone a school field trip unless you have completed in advance a volunteer application and received a volunteer number.

Student Services

Many parents are not aware that the school provides the services of an onsite school counselor and a school psychologist. Usually their services are initiated by a recommendation from your child’s teacher but it may also be by parent request.

Student Supplies

Students in PK, K and 1 will use paper supplied by the school. Students in grades 2-5 must have a loose-leaf notebook and dividers for each subject (Reading, Math, Language Arts, Social Studies, and Science) or individual spiral notebooks for each subject.  Your child’s teacher according to his/her grade level needs will request other supplies.


Students will keep graded papers in their notebook. These papers will demonstrate the competencies that your child has achieved in school.  The notebooks should be labeled with the child’s name and room number.  Students in grades 3-5 must supply their own notebook paper. Student must have adequate supplies to work with each day.

Student Work Folders

A student work folder is kept for each child.  Samples of the child’s work and progress are kept in the folder.  Your child’s teacher will share the content of the work folder with you during a conference.

Teacher Requests

We are sorry, but we cannot accept teacher requests, as it is an overwhelming task to organize our classes.  Since our children are grouped heterogeneously and in self-contained ESOL classes, there are many factors to consider other than parental requests. All Flamingo teachers are competent professionals, licensed by the state, and qualified to teach.


The Family Educational

Rights and Privacy Act


Parent’s Access to School Records.


The revised Family Rights and Privacy Act became a Federal law in November 1974.  The intent of this law is to protect the accuracy and privacy of student educational records.  Without you prior consent, only you and authorized individual having legitimate educational interest will have access to your child’s educational records.  In special instances, you may waive this right of access to allow other agencies working with your child to have access to those records.


You may have an appointment to inspect and review your child’s records.  The appointment may be made in person or by telephoning the school at (305) 691-5531.  Upon review of the records, if you have reason to believe that any information contained therein is inaccurate, misleading, or inappropriate, you may have the right to challenge that information.


If there is agreement, the necessary steps to amend or correct the information contained in the record will be taken.  If agreement is not reached, a hearing will be scheduled.  The hearing will provide you with the opportunity to present your views and reasons for the challenge.  You may bring with you at your expense, any individual who may be of assistance.  Following the hearing, should there be a failure to reach an agreement, you have the right to appeal the decision to the Access Center.  In the event that your appeal fails at any level of the hearing procedure, you have the right to have entered into the record a statement of the issue as you see it.


The rights pertaining to access and challenge described herein are transferred to your child upon the attainment of his/her 18th birthday or admission to an institution of post secondary education, unless limited by court order.


Directory information, which includes name, address, telephone listing, date and place of birth; dates of attendance; major field or study; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; weight and most recent previous educational agency or institution attended, may be released unless you make a written request within twenty (20) days of receipt of this letter to the contrary.  This information will be released only in accordance with the guidelines established by the Miami - Dade County Public Schools.


You have the right to file a complaint with the Family Rights and Privacy Act Office, Department of HEW, Washington, D.C. 20201, if you think this school or school system is not in compliance with the law.


If you have any further questions, please contact the school office at (305) 691-5531.

Title IX

The Miami - Dade County School Board adheres to the provision of the Title IX regulations prohibiting sex discrimination in education as administered by the office of Civil Rights of the US Department of Health, Education and Welfare, specifically, Title IX states:


“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participating... in be denied the benefit of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal assistance”.


The Title IX regulations generally require that comparable facilities be provided each sex, prohibits discrimination on basis of sex in providing access to education course offerings, extracurricular activities, including campus organizations, competitive athletics, counseling, use of appraisal and counseling materials, and employment assistance to students.  The regulations further prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in employment, recruitment, compensation, fringe benefits, job classification and structure, and marital or parental status.


Questions or concerns regarding compliance with this regulation should be directed to:


            Division of Equal Educational Opportunity and Advocacy

            School Administration Building

            1450 N.E. Second Avenue

            Miami, Florida 33132

            Telephone: 995-1234

Visits to School

Parents are encouraged to visit school to see classes in action. All parents/visitors must go to the office for a visitor’s pass before visiting any part of the school.  If your child forgets his lunch, homework, or any item and you find it necessary to bring them to him/her, please come to the office.  We will see that it is delivered to your child.

Withdrawals - Transfers

Please notify the school office two days before you expect your child to leave.  You will need special transfer papers to enter your child in another school.  Proof of change of address is required before transfer papers are given.  Phone bill, electric bill, water deposit receipt, or copy of lease or title; rent receipts are not accepted.  Your child’s textbook return slip must also be presented.  You may get it from his/her teacher upon return of all assigned textbooks.


Twenty-Five Ways

to Help your Children in School



Should the school nurse or doctor inform you that your child has a health problem, discuss it.  He or she can help get the assistance you need.  Seeing, hearing and feeling well are essential to learning.



Talk naturally.  Don't use baby talk no matter how young the child is.  The more words a child can understand and say, the easier it will be for him or her to learn to read and to understand.



Encourage them to talk about their everyday activities.  Make sure you give them the chance to initiate conversation during meals and on other suitable occasions.  Your children will learn to express themselves if they know you will give them your attention.



Praise and recognition reinforce learning.  Reading, for example, is enjoyable, but it’s also hard work for children.  They need you support and encouragement.  Praise them when they succeed and help them when they are having problems.



Even though you work with them and help them with their homework, they may make the same mistakes many times.  Don't despair.  Some experts say that new learning sometimes requires more than 15 repetitions before it is absorbed.  It’s most important that you do not become angry or impatient, since learning cannot take place in a tense atmosphere.  If you find yourself ‘losing you cool,’ just stop and do something else for a while.



Each child is unique.  Some children learn faster than others.  If you children seem to be moving at a slow rate, don't blame them or worry about it.  It’s too early to make comparisons anyway; your children may have an untapped reserve of attributes and talents.  Let them know you love them for what they are and that you will continue to love them no matter how they do in school.



Try to provide a quiet, well-lighted place for study, and make sure there is room for books, dictionaries, papers, pens, pencils and other home learning tools.




To succeed in school many children need a regular study time each night, free of interruptions and distractions.  If your children are not given a home learning assignment, this scheduled time can be used for review, reading for pleasure or some type of family or learning activity.  It’s a good idea to provide each of your children with a notebook so that they will always know exactly what the assignments are.  This notebook will also serve as a written record of all assignments and will help to organize review and study of previous materials.



Learning is hard work and requires full use of all faculties.  Your children will be in the proper frame of mind and otherwise ready for learning only if they report to school each morning well rested.



When children miss school, they miss the presentation of new information or the mastery of a difficult concept.  Once they fall behind their group, it’s especially hard to catch up.  Some children can never quite adjust after frequent or extended absences from school.



If you find out that they are having academic or other problems, don’t wait to be contacted by the school.  Take the initiative by making an appointment to talk it over with the teacher.  If you can’t get to school, send a note asking the teacher to contact you by telephone.   Find out how you can help.  Perhaps you can provide information about your children and family that will help school personnel respond with greater understanding to your child’s situation.



Mealtime can provide the ideal setting for talking together, sharing events of the day and discussing individual problems and aspirations.  In a relaxed, family atmosphere, youngsters have a chance to test their debating skills in friendly arguments and to talk out their differences of opinion.  Such discussions will help develop your children’s self-confidence and encourage them to speak up in the classroom.  Don’t allow TV to interfere with this perfect opportunity for family communication.



Children learn a lot from television both good and bad.  Help them choose appropriate programs to watch.  Then watch with them and, afterwards, discuss what you’ve seen.  This approach to television can help your children develop new interests that you can encourage them to read about.  One system for choosing programs carefully is to get the family together once a week to consider the television listings.  Go over the listings as you would a restaurant menu.  (In a restaurant you wouldn’t order just anything!)   By choosing carefully in advance, you’ll help your children to form the habit of considering television as only one of many entertainment/learning tools available, and you’ll give them a valuable thinking and decision- making experience.



Visits to nature and science centers, art museums, train stations, airports, farms, factories, shipyards, supermarkets, pet shops and so on, will help broaden their experiences.  Such diverse activities are vital in readying young children for reading.



It’s a rare child who is not delighted to be read to by a parent or older friend, but it’s important to read with you children, not only to read.  Not long ago, a young teacher was trying to read a book to a small group of five-year-olds. The children kept interrupting with questions and comments, frequently turning back a page or two and saying such things as, “let me see the lion again” and “see the mouse with the hat?”


Finally, the teacher said in an angry tone, “Do you want me to read this story or not?  If so, hush!” The teacher’s scolding kept her students quiet, but from that point on the youngsters were spectators of the reading process, not participants in it.  The experience lost its excitement and the story wasn’t personal anymore.  It was just ink on paper.


As irritating as interruptions can sometimes become, it’s important to remember that children’s comments during a story signal that they are making connections between new material and something they already know the essence of the learning process.  So, read with your children and welcome interruptions, they tell you that your are doing your job well.



If your children are beginning readers, tell them the words they can’t yet read so they can move along and maintain interest.  Later, you can assist them in figuring out the harder words for themselves.



Encourage them to read a story to themselves before they read it to you.  This practice will help give them confidence and a greater understanding of what they have read.  It will also make the story more interesting to them.



Reading is not reading unless it’s accompanied by understanding.  Therefore, where your child shows understanding by wanting to tell you about what he/she has read, it’s extremely important to show you are interested.



Children learn by example rather then by precept.  If you have books, magazines and newspapers readily available and in use, your children will see that reading is a source of pleasure and information.  It is infinitely more effective for your children to see you reading often than it is for you to tell them to read.




Children who have books they can call their very own are motivated toward reading.  The arrival of books mailed directly to your children with their names on the labels or cartons provides a strong inducement for reading.



For a number of young readers, there is something formidable about hard cover books, for them, paperbacks are much more attractive.  Also because paperbacks are less costly, you can provide many more and a greater variety.



Few youngsters even those not keen on the idea of reading anything at all can resist the arrival in the mail of their magazine.  Reluctant readers suddenly find themselves pouring over instructions for easy do it yourself projects, riddles, puzzles and stories.  Before they know they’re “hooked” on reading, anxiously awaiting the next issues of their magazine.



The writing communicates a sense of vitality and immediacy that piques children’s interest.  Clip articles that will appeal to them.  Also, point out that newspaper advertisements provide a service for the consumer, whatever his/her age.  Encourage the children to read ads in the newspaper and specifically in “their” magazines for products that interest them.



Take your children to the library.  Help them get their own books.  Ask the

Librarian to suggest good books to suit you children’s ages and interests.



The fact that children read is sometimes more important than what they read. For example:


Kitchen Reading: Labels on food cans and boxes can make interesting reading.  The contest and free gifts advertised on labels are strong reading motivators.  Reading these labels can also lead to writing contest entry letters or filling out forms for free merchandise.


Medicine Cabinet Reading: Labels on jars, bottles and boxes found in the bathroom (excluding dangerous medicines and poisons, of course), can be just as interesting as those found in the kitchen and may also include contests and special inducements.


Flamingo Elementary School                                                                

701 East 33rd Street

Hialeah, Florida 33013                                                          

Phone: (305) 691-5531 Fax: (305) 835-8525 


Webmaster: Esanchezjr@dadeschools.net