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March is Reading Month
Origami lesson
Teacher Appreciation
May 3 - May 7, 2021

From the Principal  

Dear Parents,


Reading is one of those things that we take for granted, like walking or speaking. As adults we can forget all the work that went into becoming an advanced reader. The task of reading is complex and an integrated process that occurs within literacy stages. During this month of March, we are celebrating reading and we hope that the love and enthusiasm for reading continues at home too.


Commit to reading with your child every day this month. Reading aloud to your child is the best thing you can do for your child’s future reading success. By reading aloud you are building his or her vocabulary, background knowledge, reading fluency, pronunciation, and listening skills.


Below are some simple and intentional ways that parents can foster a love for reading:


  1. Set up a child’s home library. Make it cozy using a neutral rug, a rocking chair, or a throw blanket and pillow. Consider keeping the books within easy reach.
  2. Make the reading space beautiful. Montessori environments emphasize setting up a simple space using beautiful artwork rather than flashy or gaudy. Try adding a nice houseplant or hang a low piece of artwork.
  3. Read to your children, even if they are reading on their own.
  4. Read together as a family.
  5. Talk about the books that everyone is reading.
  6. Read poetry, nursery rhymes, and books that have a moral to the story. Choose a variety of genres.
  7. Visit the library or bookstore.
  8. Allow your child to choose books (even if they ask you to read the same book for the 100th time).
  9. Verbalize your thinking while reading together.
  10. Be a reading role model.


Happy Reading Month!



Renee Fiema Ed.D.
Messmore Principal

The mission of Messmore Elementary School is to provide a Montessori environment that fosters self-motivated, responsible, life-long learners.
Messmore is hosting a Kindergarten Open House on March 15 at 7:00 p.m. for 4-year-old Montessori preschoolers. Utica Community Schools offers all-day Kindergarten at all elementary schools. Registration forms are available at Please bring completed registration forms with you. The open house will give parents the opportunity to learn about our kindergarten, meet teachers and building staff and complete the registration process.

UCS Vision

All children have the right to a rigorous, high-quality education which meets their individual needs. UCS will respect, encourage and empower each and every student to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to be successful, contributing members of a diverse community and global society.

UCS Mission

We are committed to exemplary teaching and learning in order for our students to be prepared for success in the 21st Century.
We will achieve this commitment by engaging the entire community to focus on each child's achievement, with the expectation that every student will pursue some type of post-high school educational endeavor.

Core Values

  • Every child can learn and achieve.
  • Parents and guardians are partners in the learning process.
  • Being “smart” can be achieved through persistence, hard work and effective effort.
  • Excellence is expected and celebrated.
  • Data is used to guide our decision-making.
  • All employees will exemplify ethical behavior; exhibit a strong work ethic; and continue to develop their leadership, performance and service skills.
  • Technology supports and enhances instruction, business operations, research and communications.
  • The Board of Education, district educators/staff, parents, community members and business leaders must collaborate and work as a team to enhance educational opportunities for student success.