Dr. King Reading Program Helps Improve Student Literacy
Published on 12/8/17
District News Academics Dr King Elementary School
For the 27th year, Dr. King students have the opportunity to develop a love for reading thanks to some special volunteers.
Thanks to a reading program started by the Park Central Presbyterian Church, each week, about 35 community volunteers spend an hour in the school library working with first and second grade students who could use some extra reading assistance.
Students work with the same reading buddy each week, practicing fluency and comprehension one-on-one. Student progress is measured in a journal so students and volunteers can track their progress.
“I usually see a huge difference from September to May,” volunteer Marilyn Lyman said. “Sometimes, they will start out with no reading comprehension at all… but we learn new words and we learn what to focus on and they learn a lot. I feel so lucky to be able to do this. It’s so fun and it’s the perfect thing for retirement!”
In addition to seeing gains in students’ reading levels, volunteers said one of the biggest takeaways – for them and for the students – is the relationships they build with each other. One student said she missed her regular reading buddy, who was visiting Egypt. So her fill-in reading buddy picked up an atlas and together, they looked at where Egypt is.
“The kids are just so happy to see you every week,” Syracuse University graduate student Mackenzie Robinson explained. “You wouldn’t think you can make such a strong relationship in just half an hour a week, but that’s what happens. They really look forward to it. And so do we!”
Thank you to Park Central Church and all of the program’s volunteer readers for contributing to our Dr. King students’ literacy.