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Features

Troy, Joliet teachers keeping students connected to literacy during COVID-19

Troy Cronin Elementary School second grade teacher Kelly Kohrt recorded a video of her reading a favorite children's book while snuggling with her dog Lola. The video is one of several videos teacher are recording for children to enjoy on the school's website.
Troy Cronin Elementary School second grade teacher Kelly Kohrt recorded a video of her reading a favorite children's book while snuggling with her dog Lola. The video is one of several videos teacher are recording for children to enjoy on the school's website.

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Anyone watching Kelly Kohrt's video of her reading of "Llama Llama Red Pajama" needs to be forewarned of one "extra."

A comment from Kohrt's dog Lola.

"I get to the last two pages and this dog burps as loud as it can," Kohrt, a Troy Cronin Elementary School second grade teacher, said. "She just had to get into the story...it will give you something to smile about when we're dealing with something beyond our control."

Lola is already familiar to Kohrt's students as "her pictures are everywhere" in Kohrt's classroom, she said.

"I feel that with this being a tough couple weeks to come, having a bit of familiarity with the kids on Facebook or social media might be just what they need," Kohrt said.

Kohrt also had a good reason for choosing "Llama Llama Red Pajama."

"I already had the pajamas," Kohrt said.

Several teachers at Troy Cronin Elementary School in Shorewood are recording themselves at home reading children's books aloud.

Librarian Jill Scarcelli will read several books; Lindsay Wintermute will read, "Chica Chica Boom Boom," Emily Aversen will read, "Pete the Cat" and Anne Eckenroth will read, "Louise Loves Art or another art-related book.

Some of them might even include special elements of their home environment, such as their children, a mug of hot chocolate or their pets, such as Kohrt did.

Teachers are choosing their own books and double-checking the book has no restrictions for being read aloud online, Jill Howard, Troy Cronin principal said.

"We wanted to find a way to stay connected through social media," Howard said. "And we think reading is very important."

The story videos are available to the community, too, Howard said.

To access these story videos, visit troy30.org and then go to Howard's space at Troy Cronin Elementary School.

In addition, teachers at Joliet Public Schools District 86 are also working on similar videos, that the district will post on its Facebook and Twitter accounts and, possibly, its website, according Sandy Zalewski the district's director for communications and development.

"Woodland Elementary School has already been doing a weekly live broadcast called 'Woodland Storytime' every Thursday night at 8 p.m. with the principal Kim Gordon," Zalewski said in an email. "She’s been doing it for a year where she reads a book live. The past broadcasts are on their Twitter account."

The District 86 Twitter accounts are @JolietSD86 and @Joliet86Spanish. All 20 District 86 schools also have their own Twitter accounts, Zalewski said.


 

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