Bond said a child's experience at home can be just as influential on their education as their time in the classroom.
"Parents are the key. They have more time and opportunities to instill a love of reading than professional educators do. All family members have an educational influence on children, so set the tone," she said.
"Children tend to monitor the behavior of the people they love and admire. Sadly, I've had kindergarten teachers tell me that on the first day of school, some students physically don't know how to open a book."
The state Board of Education is also encouraging families who have access to the Internet during snow days to utilize the state's Learn21WV website. The site was created by West Virginia teachers about three years ago and offers a variety of educational resources for every grade.
Marple hopes the snow days will serve as a reminder that those resources are always there, and parents should take time after school to play fun, educational games with their children.
"With today's technology, learning can occur anytime and anywhere, so that is why we encourage students to log on to www.learn21wv.com especially when school is closed," she said. "The [West Virginia Department of Eeucation] pulled together some of the best online learning resources from around the globe and placed them on the site."
Carolyn Wesley, director of the East End Family Resource Center, said while snow days are a great opportunity for stay-at-home parents, working families can learn something from the time off too.
"Encourage your kids to read or write in a journal in their downtime. Go make a science project out of playing in the snow," Wesley said. "The most important thing for parents to do is know what lessons their children are learning in school. Snow days, after-school time and summers are great opportunities for parents no matter the situation. Finding ways to implement the lessons they learn at school into their everyday lives can have a great affect on a child's development."
Reach Mackenzie Mays at mackenzie.m...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4814.