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Importance of reading goes beyond classroom at Warfield Elementary School

'We're committed to instilling a love of learning in all our children,' Principal Cristina Smith says
Children reading at Warfield Elementary School
Posted at 12:46 PM, Sep 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-08 18:16:37-04

INDIANTOWN, Fla. — WPTV and the Scripps Howard Foundation are partnering with the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County this year in an effort to get more books in the hands of young children.

We visited Warfield Elementary School in Indiantown to see the importance of getting young minds excited to read.

Warfield Elementary is a community bedrock.

"We're committed to instilling a love of learning in all our children and making sure they have all the resources they need to become successful readers," said Principal Cristina Smith.

Warfield Elementary School Principal Cristina Smith
Warfield Elementary School Principal Cristina Smith speaks about the resources her school provides to foster a love for reading.

Fourth-grader Sara Hernandez loves a book with lots of make-believe.

"It makes a mental movie, and it's like I'm watching a show instead of reading a book," Sara said.

"I like reading because it's fun," added Aurora Flores.

Aurora's mother said her daughter has come out of her shell and gained confidence as she has learned to read.

Perla Flores added Aurora now wants to go to the library on many days after school.

Sara Hernandez
Sara Hernandez talks about her love for reading.

Media Specialist Candice Krogh wrote the application that got the school a $5,000 grant this summer from the Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries, adding hundreds of books to their collection.

"The goal is to continue to add diverse characters, diverse biographies. Letting children see, as I said, books that show their culture, their heritage," Krogh said.

At Warfield Elementary, nearly two-thirds of the students are English-Language Learners, meaning more than one language is spoken at home.

So it's important that reading lessons that students receive in the classroom can then be taken home and help their parents.

"Right now when we get letters from random places, I read it to my mom and my dad, and then they understand it," Sara said.

Smith said with the pandemic, it's more important than ever to make sure the students don't regress when it comes to reading.