Be a Bolt, Let Your Lightning Shine


                         Malissa Steinhart, Karen Timberlake, Sulekha Appaiah, and Allison Francis

Our role as Interventionists at Ben Franklin Elementary School is to bring students to grade level achievement in reading. The systematically designed lessons support learning and expand our students’ knowledge of language, words, and how they work. We work with children in small groups to provide academic support in the five components of reading instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.  It is our hope to promote and foster a lifelong love for reading and share our enthusiasm for literacy with the students and families at Ben Franklin Elementary.

Our Contact Information:

Malissa Steinhart  

Karen Timberlake  

Sulekha Appaiah    

Allison Francis        

Important Reading Tips for Parents: 


Reading aloud to children is one of the best ways to help them discover the joy of reading.  And it’s never too early-or too late-to start. All children, even infants and teens, can benefit from listening to you read aloud.  By reading aloud with your children and encouraging them to read on their own, you are helping them become better readers, better listeners, and better students.

Reading to Young Children- Even before they know what words are, children benefit from watching and listening to you read aloud.  Within their first year, they’re able to learn basic language and reading concepts, such as hot to hold a book and that you’re reading words, not pictures. The earlier children grasp these concepts, the easier, they learn to read when they’re ready.

Reading Aloud with Emergent Readers- Continue to read aloud to children even after they’re reading on their own.  Reading aloud should now be an even more enjoyable experience because you can do it together.  Encourage your child to read aloud as often as possible.  Listen attentively and offer positive feedback as he improves. 

Reading Aloud With Older Children and Teenagers- Older children and teens also benefit when you read aloud to them. Reading aloud together gives them an opportunity to read interesting books that might be too difficult for them to tackle on their own.  It’s a great way to motivate older readers to improve vocabulary and reading skills. They’ll want to read more about their favorite topics, and they’ll want to learn how to do it on their own. 

Ways to help your children get the most out of being read to:

  • Read slowly, with expression.  Try using different voices for different characters.
  • Follow the words with your finger as you read. Your child will see that words are read from the left to the right of the page.
  • Point to the pictures and say the names of objects and colors.
  • Have your child help turn the pages.
  • Ask your child to describe pictures, repeat phrases used in the story, and predict what will happen next.
  • Take time to answer his/her questions.
  • Read a variety of books. Continue reading favorites, but don’t be afraid to try new stories.

Ways to help your children as they begin reading independently:

  • Take turns reading paragraphs or entire pages.
  • Help your child with words he/she has trouble reading.  Ask him/her what word would make sense in the story, or supply the correct word so she can move on and read the rest of the sentence. 
  • Be encouraging.  Tell your child he/she is doing a good job.
  • Talk about the book as you read together.  Ask questions that allow your child to express their ideas and opinions.

Hints for reading aloud with older children and teens:

  • Read short sections of books or articles aloud to catch your child’s attention.  Encourage your child to read the rest on his/her own. 
  • Call your child’s attention to an illustration or photo on the cover of a book or magazine.  Ask what he/she thinks about it.  Encourage your child to read the book or article, and then discuss it with them. 
  • Encourage your child to reads aloud to younger brothers, sisters, cousins, or family friends.  All children will benefit.   

Websites for Parents