LITERACY CONNECTS (8TH YEAR)
The programs at Literacy Connects coach children in reading so they don’t fall behind in school. Other programs teach parents the importance of reading to their children, help young people experience the power of words and ideas through the arts and put books in the hands of people who need them.
The 2019 SCCF funding allowed 1571 students in 37 high need elementary schools to receive the Reading Seed Program. The grant covered the costs of volunteer training, support and professional development. 437 volunteers donated over 23,000 hours of their time to work one-to-one with these students.
FOCUS OF THE 2020 GRANT: READING SEED CHILDREN LITERACY PROGRAM
The program is for kindergarten through fifth grade students. Volunteer reading coaches are recruited and trained to work one-to-one with students at high need schools who are reading below grade level. Students are referred by their classroom teachers to receive this intensive, personalized literacy coaching with a trained and caring volunteer who is dedicated to their success. The primary costs of the program are staff time for training, support and ongoing professional development, background checks and fingerprinting and supplies for coaches. The Reading Seed program improves children’s reading skill, but also positively changes important attitudes that have a profound effect on children’s literacy.
The University of Arizona Department of Education conducted a study of the Reading Seed Program and found 87% of children progressed by at least one reading level in only two months. Reading Seed students experience 30% greater gains in assessed literacy skills than the general student population.