Karen Simms: Partnerships important to Bordewich Bray students’ success

Bordewich Bray Elementary School provides many opportunities that are designed to help our students and families become part of the school community.

One of these opportunities is provided through a partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Western Nevada. Through the 21st Century grant, Bordewich Bray and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Western Nevada provide intervention and specific instruction to our third through fifth grade students in the curricular areas of mathematics and language arts. This outstanding program has been in effect since 2002, and has been aptly named Dolphin Club. The design of Dolphin Club uses the teaching staff of Bordewich Bray to narrow instruction for students who need support. Dolphin Club is a welcoming environment where students are actively engaged in their learning. Students are placed in small instructional groups, and receive specific academic instruction. Students receive immediate feedback and intervention on their progress. Parents are partners in Dolphin Club. They receive a personal invitation for their child to attend and then progress reports on how their students are succeeding. We are fortunate to have a variety of community partners who provide enrichment activities for our students. These community partners include the Nevada State Museum, UNR Cooperative Extension, the Brewery Arts Center and the Salvation Army.

This year Bordewich Bray was fortunate to receive a grant from City National Bank based on the efforts of teacher, Rachel Neel. The $1500 literacy grant was awarded to help increase the enthusiasm for reading among our students. The grant creates a “Principal Pals” book club for designated fifth grade students who need reading intervention. This positive program encourages students to acquire a love for reading. The students meet once a week in the school library with Assistant Principal, Lisa Lemburg, and discuss the books they are reading and recommend the books to the other students in the club. This forum provides students with the opportunity of speaking publicly, reading high interest material, and feeling the success of accomplishment that occurs upon completing a book. This positive program has impacted the desire to read by the students involved. With this increased desire, many students are beginning to see an improvement in their academic performance.

Bordewich Bray has an outstanding Parent Teacher Association or PTA. Our group is focused on tying the school and family together by forming a successful partnership. Last school year our PTA initiated the All-Pro Dads Breakfast the first Friday of every month. This program was designed by former Indianapolis Colts coach, Tony Dungee, with the objective to make dads, grandfathers, or uncles an important part in their child’s education and life. The breakfast provides an opportunity for father figures of many students to speak about their child, receive tips on communication, and receive encouragement to strengthen their relationships with their child. This is a positive outreach for our school community; on average we have 120 adults attending. Bordewich Bray believes partnerships are important to success. We are fortunate to have many partnerships operating at our school site to benefit our students, families, and school.

Karen Simms is principal of Bordewich Bray.


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