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  • Long Beach Breeze

CES parents take over for teachers to support faculty enrichment

For three days, Coast Episcopal School parents stepped in to help lead CES classes, to enable five of the school’s teachers to attend an enrichment conference in Biloxi.

“It takes a village” was brought to life at Coast Episcopal School (CES) in Long Beach recently, when twenty-five parents volunteered to step into CES Classrooms while their children’s teachers attended the 2022 Mississippi Winter Literacy Conference at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi.

For three days, parents partnered with staff teaching assistants to cover kindergarten through third grades, while each of those class’s teachers attended the three-day conference. Prior to leaving for the enrichment conference, the classroom teachers created and provided resources for an in-class activity they dubbed “Reading Rodeo.”

Parent volunteers read five books to the students: Snowy Day, The Legend of the Poinsettia, Owl Moon, The Legend of the Candy Cane, and There was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow, and then facilitated hands-on activities to reinforce the reading. Activities included watching the Snowy Day movie, doing art projects, playing games to boost understanding of parts of speech, and completing exercises designed to bolster writing skills.

Five teachers attended the conference: transitional kindergarten teacher Melissa Flickinger, kindergarten teacher Kathy Terrell, first grade teacher Dody Bennett, second grade teacher and Elementary Dean Kim McWilliams, and third grade teacher Jilliane Larson.

CES Head of School Jake Winter remained on campus to oversee coordination of the Reading Rodeo.

“Watching our parents step into our classrooms to enable our teachers to attend this conference that will have such a positive impact on our students has been heartwarming,” said Winter. “Our school community is very fortunate to see this kind of parental involvement to support our educators. It speaks to the magic that is Coast Episcopal School.”

The conference, which attracted educators from all over Mississippi, is an annual event produced by the Mississippi Literacy Association in partnership with the Mississippi Department of Education’s Office of Elementary Education and Reading for the purpose of providing literacy instruction for students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

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