East Wake Education Foundation extends reading program

mhankerson@newsobserver.comJune 17, 2014 

— Staffers at the East Wake Education Foundation are happy to extend their school year with the first Ready, Set, Read summer program that starts June 17 and will run to Aug. 11.

The program is the summer version of Ready, Set, Read, where Child Development Specialist Shannon Speller visits local schools to spend some time with small groups of students from kindergarten to 2nd grade who need some help with reading skills.

The summer program will require parents to get their children to the Foundation’s building in Wendell and it will be open to any student, not just students who have been identified as needing help by their teacher.

The class is also free.

“A lot of times when kids don’t read over the summer they fall back,” Speller said. “We don’t want that to happen, we want every kid (to be ready for school).”

The summer program will spend about 30 minutes with a group of children, from kindergarten to 2nd grade. Speller said they will work on things like sight words, reading comprehension or just reading aloud.

“It may not be one-on-one, but it’s better that one-on-23,” Speller said, referring to the challenge some school teachers face with large classes.

In addition to class sizes, Speller said students in eastern Wake County often need help with reading because their parents don’t always speak English at home, which means practicing with parents doesn’t always happen.

“It’s not that the parents aren’t interested; the parents don’t speak English well enough to help their child at home,” she said.

In Knightdale, one of the towns the Foundations serves, schools have between 90 and 250 limited English proficiency.

In addition to that challenge, Speller said class sizes tend to make literacy instruction more difficult.

The Ready, Set, Read program is funded by grants from GlaxoSmithKline and Target.

Eventually, Speller said, she’d like to see the program grow so she could teach one in each town in eastern Wake County. Expanding the summer program, she said, will depend on this year’s interest.

Speller said there is no real deadline to joining the class, although the Foundation would prefer to know as early as possible.

The class is free and located in downtown Wendell. Students’ families must provide their own transportation. It is only open for kindergartners, 1st- and 2nd-graders.

Families can register by emailing Speller at sspeller@bellsouth.net or calling the Foundation at 919-366-5901.


Hankerson: 919-829-4826; Twitter: @easternwakenews

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