The Grove Lower Elementary School held an open house Tuesday evening for the parents of all first grade students.

“Tonight was an open house to help bridge the gap between school and home,” said Lower Elementary Principal Sandy Harper.

Parents and their children assembled in the Lower Elementary cafeteria for a brief presentation and welcoming from Harper and her staff. From there, parents visited their children's classrooms to confer with teachers and to discover what activities make up the school day for their young scholars.

“We had second and third grade open houses the last two weeks,” said Harper. “The first grade was our last one.”

Besides offering an opportunity for parents to become familiar with the school and their children's teachers, the open house served as a means for the school to inform parents about the Lower Elementary's education agenda and mission.

“There's such an emphasis on reading these days and the curriculum has changed so much over the past few years,” said Harper. “Our third graders are all supposed to be reading on level by the end of third grade and we realize that to get there we have to establish a strong basis in the reading program starting in the first grade.

“It's a domino effect for the student that starts here and it helps them go on to become a successful high school student,” Harper said. “We have a big push (on reading) and we want the parents to be aware of that.”

The open house sessions at the school have been well attended as evidenced by the packed halls Tuesday night. Some classrooms held prize drawings for parents, including gift certificates to local restaurants, and all parents received a Lower Elementary ink pen.

“Every parent that has been to our open house tells me that they learned something and that they enjoyed it,” said Harper. “The parents have been awesome. We have great parent support here and I appreciate that about Grove more than anything else in the school district.”

Students of Mrs. Lisa Lovelady's first grade class at the Grove Lower Elementary pose with their parents during Tuesday night's open house at the school. (Grove Sun Daily photo by Guy Ellis)