United Way of Story County partners with Reading Is Fundamental on Literacy Grant Initiative

Staff Writer
Tri-County Times

Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation’s largest children’s literacy organization, announced that United Way of Story County is the recipient of a Read for Success grant to help improve reading proficiency for early grade school students. The literacy program launches in June and will support 30 kindergarten through fourth-grade students throughout the Ballard school district. With so many children reading at or below the basic level needed to succeed academically, the need for programs like Read for Success to combat the summer learning slide is as great as ever to ensure students remain proficient in reading all year long.

“We are excited for students to take part in RIF’s Read for Success program to ensure success in reading,” said Jean Kresse with United Way of Story County. “Through a generous grant from Reading Is Fundamental, our students will have the potential to become successful readers and improve academic performance. The program uses sound principles to motivate students to read and discover the joy of books.”

During the summer months, all children are at risk of losing some of the learning and skills they’ve acquired over the school year. If the summer learning slide is not addressed at an early age, some children may fall behind by as much as three years in reading comprehension by the end of fifth grade. Through research, Read for Success is shown to improve reading proficiency and combat the summer learning slide.

“So many of our nation’s students are falling behind academically,” noted Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO of Reading Is Fundamental. “Programs like Read for Success are proven to minimize the summer learning slide and keep students on track, not only during the summer, but all year long. We are thrilled to make this literacy grant program available to United Way of Story County to make an immediate impact for children in the Ballard community schools.”

Books are a core component of Read for Success. The program intervention utilizes the following elements to help students improve reading proficiency:

n A collection of 35 STEAM-themed (science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics) fiction and nonfiction books for the classroom and media center.

n Online access to standards-aligned enrichment and scaffolding activities for teachers to integrate into their curriculum.

n Eight summer books and a RIF book bag for students to choose and take home.

n Online professional development for teachers to effectively implement the program model.

To learn more about Read for Success, visit RIF at www.rif.org/readforsuccess.