Last school year, Edgewater Collective organized a Reading Buddy program which paired a volunteer adult with a student or group of students at Lumberg Elementary School. Volunteers were trained by school staff and led guided reading groups in the classroom during the school day. At the end of the year, the program was evaluated and it was decided that it would be best to transition the program to occur after school in the fall of 2014.
This school year, staff at Lumberg Elementary led the Lumberg Reading Club as Edgewater Collective focused on providing backbone support for the Jefferson Success Pathway. Volunteers from Jefferson Unitarian Church and other communities were paired with individual students. Students were chosen by teachers to take part in the program because they were on the bubble of reading at grade level. With some guided help and the encouragement of an adult, they could catch up and start reading at grade level.
Throughout this school year, volunteers have been reading with Lumberg 1st-3rd grade students after school and building relationships. Members of Jefferson Unitarian were awarded a grant which allowed them to purchase grade level books for the program.
On April 30, a celebration was held to honor the hard work of students and volunteers as well as the support of parents and guardians.
Here is a taste of that celebration:
School staff have surveyed teachers as well as looked at test data from the students who participated. All 27 students who participated in the program made progress in their literacy skills. 50% of the students are now reading at grade level. Some of the students even showed two years growth in their literacy skills. Teachers were asked, “On a scale from 1 to 10, what do you perceive the impact that the Lumberg Reading Club had on the students from your classroom?” The average response from teachers was a 9 on the impact of the program. Teachers also reported an increased positive attitude towards reading as well as better overall performance on reading assessments.
Thanks to the great staff and teachers at Lumberg, the committed volunteers and the hard work of students, this program was a huge success. Our hope is to find more volunteers so we can potentially roll this program out to our other focus schools this fall.