MULLINS, S.C. – More than 70 rising fourth grade students were acknowledged for participating in a month-long summer reading program designed retain their skills through the break between the end and beginning of the school year.
Sen. Kent Williams, Rep. Lucas Atkinson and Marion County Board of Education Chairwoman Cynthia Legette were in attendance to support and also donate prizes for a morning awards presentation on the final week.
“All of the teachers are here for you,” Legette said to the group of students. “This is a wonderful summer program.”
Marion County School District Accoutability Officer Melonie Gordon helped organize the Read to Succeed program’s summer reading camp.
“We have worked to provide some summer intervention to help them grow in their reading levels to help better prepare them for fourth grade,” Gordon said.
Gordon said the program included the involvement of seven teachers and computer lab at the Palmetto Education Center.
“Everything was text-based,” she said. “Read Theory has a diagnostic test and it provides intervention based on their individual reading levels.”
Gordon said awards were given for perfect attendance, no discipline issues and highest performance.
“We hope that we taught them skills that they can use to become better readers,” Gordon said. “We placed a lot of emphasis on teaching them skills they can used to decode as well as comprehend text they might not have had before.”
Gordon said the No. 1 tip she can provide to parents for their children is to read during the summer to better prepare for the upcoming school-year.
On-site lead teacher Susanne Elvington the program has been very effective.
“It has really benefitted the teachers and the students,” she said. “The teachers have been wonderful and crucial to helping our children. We have to have qualified trained teachers to be able to help with our readers.”
Elvington said Sen. Williams, Rep. Atkinson, Marion County Library and Clemson Extension have been helpful through the community-based partnership.
“We’ve really been trying to expose them to different activities while they’re here and also trying to get them career-ready too,” she said.
Elvington said she want the students to come away with the tools to help them with their reading and writing in a classroom setting.