Oakton students are further enriched via several PTA-sponsored school events.
Annual Children’s Author Visit
Each year, Oakton invites a published author or illustrator of children’s books to visit the school and speak about writing and reading to all of the Oakton’s students.
Preparation for the visit begins during Library, when the librarian introduces students to the author’s work. Classroom teachers also read the author’s book to the children and/or have the books available for them to read.
On the day of the visit, the author presents his or her work to the students at several assemblies throughout the day. There’s typically an opportunity to purchase some of the author’s books and have them autographed.
The objective of Oakton’s Author Visit program is to make reading and writing exciting to our students by fostering a personal connections with an author whose books they have read. By hearing an author speak about the creative process, the students are inspired in their own writing and motivated to become or continue being avid readers.
Artist in Residence
These 4-6 week programs give students the opportunity to work intensively with our visiting artists. The focus is on original, collaborative, interdisciplinary work in music, theatre, and dance, based on current grade level curriculum topics.
At the end of the residency, there is usually a culminating performance where students share what they have learned and created.
Battle of the Books
Battle of the Books is a literary academic contest open to all fourth and fifth grade students. Students must read at least 12 books from the list of 20, which are announced in the first weeks of November. In the Spring, following a local school competition, the winning team competes with the 11 other elementary schools in a district-wide “quiz” competition. Oakton students proudly placed third in the district for the 2009-10 school year. In Spanish-language Battle of the Books, Oakton won first place in 2010!
Beginning in the 2010-2011 school year, Oakton School was one of the select elementary schools in District 65 to take part in the K-LEAP kindergarten literacy program. K-LEAP – Stands for Kindergarten Literacy Education at Play. Kindergarten LEAP is an exciting program funded by Foundation 65 and developed by the Evanston Public Library. The purpose of the program is to weave literacy skills into play. In doing so, students are able to expand their vocabulary, tell stories, follow sequences, and appreciate reading and writing as connected to their everyday world, all of which are important steps on the road to reading. The program is run by Oakton’s librarian Ms. Bourke and will begin in January. It has been a tremendous success and play topics have included Laundry, Construction, Pizza and Pet Vet.
Story Store is Oakton’s bookstore and is open to all grades. Story Store offers new and used children’s books to students, parents, teachers, and staff. Story Store has books for every interest and reading level, in English and Spanish. New books are priced from $1 to $3, with used books for as little as 25 cents. Story Store is open weekly during recess.
Parents may send a deposit for credit that students may spend on books or supplies. Please make checks out to “Story Store.” Students may also bring cash.
When you donate used books, credit will be added to your child’s account. Once your child outgrows books, please consider donating them to Story Store. Your child will receive a credit of half of the selling price.
There is a box for donations by the Story Store Closet; make sure to write your child’s name on the donation if you would like to receive credit.
Story Store is an independent operation, managed by parents who enjoy helping children choose books. New helpers are welcome at any time. To find out more, email Amy Bilski sewitallamy at gmail.com or call Debi Lewis at (773) 209-1444.
Oakton has a Student Council with representatives from each classroom. These students generally are chosen by teachers, and meet periodically to organize fundraisers for charities, among other things.