(hee-tam-it-tsuh) Translation: I am reading or I am Learning

Summer Reading Activities 2021

Race to Read Theme: “Summer Run – Going Upstream”

History and run down of the Hitéemece: Race to Reading Success

In 2009, the Mamáy’asnim Hitéemenwees Kamiah Center participated in the “Book It for Beginners” for Preschoolers through Pizza Hut. In 6 weeks, parents, grandparents, families read with their children a total of 169 books in 2,274 minutes or 38 hours. This was our first venture and unfortunately the last through Pizza Hut. Kamiah Mamáy’asnim Hitéemenwees Center soon sponsored their own program in conjunction with Kamiah Pizza Factory. And in 2010, parents/guardians, grandparents, and families read with their children a whopping total of 404.75 hours or approximately 28 hours per week!! Our reading program is called “Hitéemece: Race to Reading Success” with a new theme each year. The Hitéemece Reading Program will begin July 1 , 2021 through August 12, 2021. Working together with our community partners, we are able to extend our impact to the broader community, expanding our network of supporters and reading advocates. We hope you will participate but please note it is not required.

Each year we hope to incorporate important Nez Perce Tribe or tribal themes. Our theme for Summer program 2021 is “Summer Run – Going Upstream” Our story begins with the Salmon voyaging home. Anadromous fish, like the salmon, grow up mostly in the saltwater oceans. When they have matured, they migrate or “run up” freshwater rivers to spawn in what is called the “salmon run.” We will be using the major fishing sites used by tribes as check in spots to mark progress in the race.

Fish start up the Columbia River in early spring and migrate up to the headwaters of streams. Summer fish come over in summertime and stop lower in rivers such as the South Fork Salmon or Imnaha River in Oregon. Handouts will be given to you for tracking your readers progress in minutes. At the end of the week, submit your filled out progress sheet back to the Mamáy’asnim Hitéemenwees to be calculated and to see your salmon on the move upriver! With each major check in fishing spot a certificate or reward from our community partners will be issued to your reader with instructions on how to redeem it. At the end of our summer program we hope to enjoy a celebration with all our readers.


Checklist for Parents of toddlers

Here are some ways you can help your child “get ready to read” during the ages of 2 and 3.

  • I read with my child every day, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
  • I encourage my child to bring his favorite books to me so that we can read together.
  • I point to pictures and name them out loud, and encourage my child to point to pictures while we read.
  • I watch to see if my child sometimes makes eye contact with me when I read aloud. That tells me he/she is paying attention to me and the story.
  • I talk with my child throughout the day about things we are doing and things that are happening around us.
  • I try to be patient when my child wants to read the same book over and over again.
  • I encourage my child to “play” with books—pick them up, flip them from front to back, and turn the pages.
  • Sometimes I listen when my child “pretends” to read a book—he/she holds the book, goes from page to page, and says words, even though they’re not the words on the page.
  • I give my child paper and crayons so she can scribble, make pictures, and pretend to write.


Checklist for Parents of preschoolers

Here are some ways you can help your child “get ready to read” during the ages of 4 and 5.

  • I help my child hear and say the first sound in words (like “b” in boat), and notice when different words start with the same sound (like “boat” and “book”).
  • I help my child hear words that rhyme (like moose, goose, and caboose).
  • I introduce new words to my child, like “bow” and “stern,” which mean the front of a boat and the back of a boat.
  • I talk with my child about the letters of the alphabet and notice them in books, like “c” for canoe.
  • I point out signs and labels that have letters, like street signs and foods in the grocery store.
  • I encourage my child to find the joy and fun in reading. Usually, I let my child choose the books we read.
  • I let my child pretend to read parts of the book when we read together.
  • I talk with my child about stories and make connections to things that happen in our own lives.
  • I ask “what,” “where,” and “how” questions when I read with my child to help him/her follow along and understand the stories.
  • I help my child write notes or make books (like an alphabet book), even if his/her writing only looks like scribbles or marks.

Things to consider when looking for books young children love:

Infants 0-6 months

  • Simple, large pictures, designs or with bright colors.
  • Stiff cardboard, “chunky” books or books that can be propped up in the crib.
  • Cloth and soft vinyl books with simple pictures of people or familiar objects, waterproof, books that can go in the bath or get washed.

Infants 6-12 months

  • Books with photos of other babies.
  • Stiff cardboard books to touch and taste.
  • Sturdy books with thick pages, that can be propped up or on a blanket.
  • Plastic/vinyl books for bath time.
  • Washable cloth books to cuddle and teeth on.
  • Small plastic photo albums, pictures with family and friends including pets!

Young Toddlers 12 months and up 4 year olds

  • Durable cardboard books that they can carry around. A much loved books with have lots of wear and tear.
  • Picture books of children doing familiar activities like sleeping, singing or playing.
  • Books with conversant phrases, saying hello, good-bye, or goodnight books.
  • Nursery rhymes with predictable text, or that only contain a few words per page.
  • Animal books of all sizes and shapes, touch and feel style books.
  • Books that tell simple short stories, or with familiar activities like playtime.
  • Rhyming books that they can memorize.
  • Books about counting, the alphabet, shapes and sizes.
  • Seek and find books to find objects or people.
  • Books about their favorite things, TV characters, colors, activities, animals or places.

Five ways to share books with babies and young children

  1. Make sharing books a part of everyday routines, like bed time stories or apart of quiet play time.
  2. Have fun, children can learn by observing how you read. Make it an enjoyable experience, which is important in encouraging young children in learning to read. Create voices for story characters, use your body to tell the story expressively or by making it interactive. Make the story come to life.
  3. Reading for only a small amount of time is OK – Don’t worry if you don’t finish the story. Young children can only sit for a few minutes, but don’t fret as they grow, they will be able to sit for longer. Let your child turn the pages, and remember it’s ok to skip pages.
  4. Switch out the characters, make the story about your reader or about your family, pets or community when you are reading about others in a story. Use the story to engage in conversations and to talk about familiar activities and objects.
  5. Make sure to show the cover of the book and explain what the story is about. Children can memorize a story very quickly, and oftentimes many children love to be creative through storytelling. Allow your child to explore their imagination and create their own version of the story.

Salmon run leaderboard:

Tailon Clark, Riley Hart, Thomas Lozon and Riston Johnson Miles

Incentive Winners: