Learning, Leading, and Loving Literacy

Hi everyone! I just completed my first “Donors Choose” project. I am looking to change the seating arrangement for my students. My students are awesome, creative, and animated. They show bravery every day by working hard to learn to read, even when it doesn’t come easy for them. Many of them struggle with attention and need to move in order to stay focused. The kidney table and chairs that I have in my room just aren’t working anymore. One day, I took a group of students to the floor for their lesson, and the change was drastic and amazing – enough to motivate me to want to change the organization of my room. In addition, I’ve really been trying to have my students fall in love with reading. Having the right books is key of course, but setting the tone and environment is also key. I want my kids to walk into my room and feel relaxed, comfortable, and motivated to do the hard work they need to do. Please share this project with anyone who may interested in helping. As a bonus, donors can add the promo code LIFTOFF at checkout and their donations will be doubled up to $50 for the next 7 days. Help me ditch this desk! 

Help Us Ditch the Desk!

Thank you so much,

P.S. If you know anyone who might be interested in supporting public schools, please feel free to pass this message along.

Although this is a short week, it is one of the most fun ones here at NSES…Reading Week!  The theme this year is “New Faces, New Places, Read!”.  We have four fun filled days planned including mystery readers, a daily book swap, door decorating contest, and “Dress Like a Word” day.  Here are some quick pics of Buddy Reading Day and our Book Swap as well as a link to what we have planned for the Week.  Be sure to attend our Spring Reading Celebration (aka Family Literacy Night) on Thursday, April 13 from 6-7. Meet local authors, including our own Mrs. Williams and wear pajamas to listen to some fabulous read alouds!

Reading Week 2017 Flyer

North Smithfield Elementary School will be celebrating World Read Aloud Day on February 16, 2017! There is substantial research to support the practice of reading aloud to children, but quite simply, reading aloud is a commercial for reading…it offers children the opportunity to enjoy the magic of reading and motivates them to want to read more.  When we read aloud to children, we create a shared experience that is treasured and creates a community of readers.

Our classrooms at NSES will be hosting and welcoming a variety of community members to come and share a favorite story. We truly want to emphasize the idea that we are creating a community of readers by asking our community to share the love of reading with us.

If you have questions about our day or would like more information, please feel free to contact Tracy Lafreniere at tlafreniere@northsmithfieldschools.com.  We are so looking forward to this fantastic day!



Twitter: @TracyLafreniere

Blog: nsesreadingblog.wordpress.com

Hello everyone and Happy New Year!

I hope you are enjoying a fabulous start to 2017.  I am just returning from maternity leave. My second son Levi was born in September and I was fortunate enough to be home with him for three months. Although I miss him terribly every day, I am excited to be back and to reconnect with my students, families, and my friends at NSES.

One of my resolutions is to add more updates to this blog.  If you are visiting, you may notice that the last update was in September…adding a baby to the family certainly adds time constraints to blog posting!  If you have any suggestions about blog topics or would like me to post about anything in particular, please feel free to email me at tlafreniere@northsmithfieldschools.com and I would be happy to meet your needs.

One trend we have been noticing at NSES is the increased need for literacy intervention for students.  There are many theories about why this might be the case. Increased class size, less paraprofessional support, increased student need upon entering Kindergarten, higher standards – all these factors play a role and while it’s worth having a conversation about how we can address some of those issues, ultimately what we need right now is help.  We have two Reading Specialists at NSES and one Title I Reading Specialist to support Kindergarten, and although we service a significant number of students, there are always more that need support.  Some may only need a small amount of extra practice, a small boost, to help them become proficient readers.

This is why we are asking for your help.  If you or anyone you know has a few extra hours each week to work directly with students in the area of literacy, we would be more than grateful for your assistance. We are going to be setting up a specialized training session to specifically teach and support our literacy volunteers to work with students in the areas of reading and writing. I am including the information from our principal, Diane Jolin, below.  You may contact her (or me) with any questions regarding the training or the volunteer position.

Again, I am glad to be back with you and look forward to staying connected in 2017!


Tracy (tlafreniere@northsmithfieldschools.com)

Flyer: NSES Partners in Literacy Flyer

NSES Partners in Literacy Program

Volunteers Needed!

We are looking for volunteers to help NSES  first grade students. If you cannot volunteer but you know someone in the community who might like to help, please let them know about this fulfilling opportunity!

Volunteers would come in and listen to a student read books, practice sight words and practice letters, one student at a time.  They would work with as many students as possible within a one hour time slot.  We would like the volunteers to come in every week at the same time.  Volunteers could come in and help one, two or three times per week. The one hour time slot would be in the morning sometime between 8:45-11:30.

  • No classroom experience is needed.
  • Read with one or two students 60 minutes a week.
  • Receive ongoing training and support.
  • Make a difference in the life of a child and the life of the school.

If you are interested in this opportunity, complete the section below and return to Diane Jolin, Principal, at North Smithfield Elementary School, by Friday, January 13, 2017. Questions about the training can be forwarded to Mrs. Jolin at 401-765-2260 or djolin@northsmithfieldschools.com.

DEADLINE for reply is January 13, 2017.

____ I will participate in the reading intervention training


Phone #:______________________   Email: ______________________



Today was one of our favorite days of the year- the day we celebrate all the reading that the students at NSES did this summer!  Here are some quick stats about the Summer Reading Challenge:

  • Overall, the students at NSES read 54,695 minutes – that’s 912 hours!
  • Students in Kindergarten read 3,190 minutes or 53 hours!
  • Students in Grade 1 read 8,335 minutes or 139 hours!
  • Students in Grade 2 read 23,438 minutes or 390 hours – wow!
  • Students in our 2 third grades read 19,732 minutes or 329 hours!

To celebrate, we held a gathering this morning where we shared some of our favorite books.  Each student who participated received a certificate, pencil, and applause (of course!).  We honored our top grade level readers with a gift card to Barnes and Noble.  We ended our celebration with a short dance party, because every celebration needs a little music!  See some pictures below of our top readers as well as some photos of our celebration.

Remember, reading is something we can celebrate every day!  We’re hoping to keep our enthusiasm for reading high as we enter the 2015-2016 school year…let us know what your favorite books are and we’ll share!

Mrs. Jolin with Emily Smith, our top Kindergarten reader who read 1200 minutes this summer!

Mrs. Jolin with Emily Smith, our top Kindergarten reader who read 1200 minutes this summer!


Mrs. Jolin with Brielle Baillargeon, our top Grade 1 reader who read 1,500 minutes this summer!


Mrs. Jolin with our top Grade 2 reader, Amelia Marseglia who read 1,740 minutes this summer!


Mrs. Jolin with our top Grade 3 reader, Teagan McMahon who read 6,930 minutes this summer – that’s 116 hours!


Summer Reading Rocks!


Those smiles are because these girls love to read!


Amelia loves to read!


Helping us celebrate with some dancing!