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Reading Hero: Monica Lee

Second-grade teacher Monica Lee hopes students leave her Bain Elementary classroom having developed not just literacy skills, but also a deeper appreciation of and love for reading.

“My mission is to not just teach the science of reading but also the love of reading,” she said.

Lee has worked as an educator for 25 years, 17 of which have been with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

“I know that educating children is my purpose,” she said. “Teaching students to crack the code and to be able to read independently is the reason I became a teacher, and it brings me joy.”

Jennifer Grant, who nominated Lee as a Reading Hero, said Lee’s work with her son, Miles, helped build his confidence in his reading skills this school year.

“Since the beginning of the year, via various strategies, as well as providing assisted advice for at-home practice, his confidence in his fluency ability has dramatically improved, which seems to have also removed the self-doubt and insecurities of decoding,” Grant said. “Mrs. Lee empowers her students with the tools, compassion, and structure to believe that they CAN!”

Lee goes the extra mile to inspire her students, Grant said, noting a recent project in which they became published authors. As part of a unit on fossils and paleontology, students researched a dinosaur and then wrote and illustrated a page for a class book. They celebrated the completed book with a publishing party, inviting parents and the school administrative team to join them.

“It was such a fun experience to have with my students. The students’ writing was outstanding,” Lee said. “They were all so proud to be able to read their book to their families.”

She hopes that experience, along with everything else students do and learn in her classroom, stays with them.

“Going the extra mile and leaving them with an experience that ignites that spark to read will ensure that they are lifelong readers that will continue to learn more about themselves, others, and the world through books,” Lee said.

Reading Heroes

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