An all-out campaign to get Washington Primary School students to regularly read is underway. The effort is being led by Principal Michelle J. Richards and building faculty and support staff members. Students are buying in more and more each day.
Dr. Richards’ book of the month for February is “Thank you, Mr. Falker,” by Patricia Polacco. “We continue to foster a love of learning through reading aloud books with diverse characters, messages and environments,” the first year principal said.
The book of the month kickoff came in a kindergarten class led by teachers Peri Alfano and Emily Meyers. “In this book, we meet Trisha who learned how to read in the fifth grade when a dedicated teacher, Mr. Falker, comes into her life and takes the time to teach her,” Dr. Richards said. “Because of Mr. Falker’s dedication to making sure Trisha is successful, this little girl became the world renowned award winning author Patricia Polacco.”
The regular practice of reading carries a long list of benefits for students from an expanded vocabulary and better word usage to improved writing and comprehension. But reading is fun too. No day is ever boring for those who read. A person can travel across the world or experience a different time period through reading.
Washington students are enjoying the campaign to get them more interested in reading. “The goal is for our students to be empowered and encouraged to never give up and dream big,” Dr. Richards said. “They can see these examples in one another, in our Washington family and in characters in books we read.”
Principal Michelle J. Richards
Dr. Richards has been principal of Washington Primary School since July 1, 2018. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology at SUNY Albany and a Master of Science degree in childhood education at City University of New York-Lehman College. She earned a Doctor of Education degree in educational administration and supervision at St. John’s University and studied for her state administrative certification at CUNY-Queens College.
At the time of her appointment in Huntington, Dr. Richards was an assistant principal in the Elmont School District since 2013 and an administrator there since 2009.
Dr. Richards began her career as a general education teacher in New York City. She worked at Public School 107x (2001-03) and Lewis H. Latimer School-PS 56K (2003-06). She later taught in Elmont at Gotham Avenue School from 2006-09.
In 2009, Dr. Richards moved into Elmont’s administrative ranks after being named assistant to the principal. She was the principal of Elmont’s summer enrichment program in 2009 and 2010. She also served as a district professional development facilitator, curriculum map developer for English Language Arts and as a district testing leader, creating the scoring schedule, selecting and training district scorers, facilitating the scoring process and ensuring testing documents are securely maintained.
Dr. Richards maintains memberships in the International Literacy Association, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.