Literacy night brings Alberton families together

Oct. 11—Alberton Family Literacy Night was a hoot for the kids, and it was assistance for parents of students with reading assignments and helping to develop an interest in reading for enjoyment.

There is a mindset that resonates throughout the school that is truly, "What is best for our kids? Then let's do it!" Tuesday evening was another example of everyone working together to take care of the kids.

"We have a wonderful community and this is an opportunity for families to engage at a bigger level with the student's education," said Alberton School Superintendent Damian Droessler. "After dinner, we have a wonderful speaker, Jenna Briggs, on reading strategies for school and home connection. Then we brought some of the UM Griz basketball players and Monte out to work with the kids and have some fun. So, the kids are going to have entertainment activities with the Griz and the parents will have the opportunity to do a little workshop with our speaker."

Droessler then shared his professional relationship with Briggs.

"Jenna is an Instructional Coach for Missoula County Public Schools and a longtime friend who is very, very knowledgeable in reading and literacy practices and strategies. We have kids that love reading and we have kids that don't love reading so how do we work with all of those kids and make reading an important component?"

Inside at the cafeteria entrance, Betsi Wood, Alberton School Secretary, was giving a ticket to everyone for a chance to win two tickets to a UM sporting event and information pamphlets about Infinite Campus.

"We've always had Infinite Campus but I'm not sure the Parent Portal is understood entirely. That's what is explained inside," as she opens the brochure. "Infinite Campus gives parents the tools to be more involved with their child's education. Parents can track a student's attendance, grades and assignments," she explained.

The taco dinner was free of charge and sponsored by the Parent Teacher Student Association with additional funding from the Headwaters Foundation in Missoula.

Briggs has been with Missoula Public Schools for eight years and worked in Idaho before that also as an Instructional Coach.

"Family literacy is reading at home with your kids," she explained. "The benefits of it are remarkable but also the challenges around it are there. I'll explain some practical solutions on behaviors to approach it in ways that it stays positive in your family. That is what I want to bring to the table tonight."

Briggs told the audience that she is the mother of two herself with a busy schedule, but that she practices what she preaches.

When Droessler was asked about his first four months in his new position, a huge smile comes to his face as he says, "It's been great! The school community is fantastic. Our teachers are amazing. The kids are doing a wonderful job and I'm really impressed how involved the community has been so I'm very grateful in that aspect."

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