Bemus Point Elementary Launches PARP Program With Local Author

BEMUS POINT – A monthlong program designed to promote reading in the home was kicked off at Bemus Point Elementary School with the help of a local author.

The school celebrated the beginning of this year’s Parents As Reading Partners program by welcoming author Sara Klawon, a Greenhurst native, into its library to read her children’s book – entitled “The Brumblewumps” – to students Wednesday.

According to the New York State PTA website, the PARP program encourages parents or adult guardians to read with their children for at least 15 minutes per day, while stressing the fact that reading can be fun as well as informative. PARP is also intended to strengthen children’s reading and communication skills, and cement the bond between home and school.

Carrie Yohe, school principal, said Bemus Point’s program will continue through March 26, and the theme is “The ABC’s of BPE – Dr. Seuss Style.”

“It’s a focus on reading, and the school is just putting incentives out there for the students,” Yohe said. “So much of the emphasis in school lately has been on testing, and the curriculum is hard. But (PARP) just brings that fun piece back. It’s important to read for entertainment and enjoyment; it’s not always about a test.”

Yohe said Wednesday marked the first time that Bemus Point Elementary has brought in an author to commence its PARP program. She said having Klawon in the school was unique in that Klawon is also a parent of the district; her daughter, Annabella, is a fourth-grader at the elementary school.

Klawon met with all students in the building in 20-minute intervals, during which she read her book and described the process behind its creation. Joining Klawon were stuffed animal representations of the characters in her book, which she created herself and photographed for use in the narration of the book.

“This is the first time I’ve come to a school,” Klawon said. “For some of the older kids, I was describing the process of creating the book; but, for the younger ones, I basically just had to read the book to them because they don’t really have the attention span.”

“The Brumblewumps” was self-published by Klawon, and was released in September. She said she has been working on creating new characters, and is planning a follow-up book for a tentative release this fall. The book is available for purchase at www.amazon.com.