Local Organizations Step Up for Literacy in the Schools
News release courtesy of Corning Rotary
CORNING, NY — Prior to the Board of Education meeting on September 19, 2018, representatives of the Rotary Club of Corning, The First Presbyterian Church of Corning, and First Heritage Federal Credit Union presented the Corning-Painted Post Area School District with a “big check” symbolizing $39,000 in combined donations made to date in support of a kindergarten through second grade literacy initiative.
Since the 2015-16 school year, Rotary has donated $24,000, First Presbyterian Church has donated $9,000, and First Heritage has donated $6,000 to the program, which has helped support reading at Winfield Street Elementary School and more recently, William E. Severn Elementary School.
In the program, the organizations “adopt” a grade level. Each student in the class receives one book each month during the school year, helping to develop a love for reading along with skills in speech, communication, logical thinking, language, as well as improved concentration and focus. Volunteers from the sponsoring organizations also read to students in the classroom and participate in special events and reading celebrations at the schools.
The books are from the “We Both Read” series, which encourages parents to read to their children. Studies show that when parents engage in the reading process, children are more successful at reading on their own, so each book has a parent page and a child page. The books are also leveled reading, which helps children reading at both lower and higher reading levels.
The initiative is having an impact. It is widely accepted that the ability to read proficiently by the third grade greatly impacts a person’s ability to graduate high school and achieve further successes in life. The percentage of students in the adopted cohort at Winfield School meeting the NWEA-established Norm Score and their NWEA-projected growth target from fall to winter 2017 far exceeded established reading standards.
Pictured (L to R): Christy Parsons, First Heritage Federal Credit Union, Ernest Danforth, First Presbyterian Church of Corning, Michele Wright, Principal, Winfield Avenue Elementary, Michael Ginalski, Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Dale Wexell, C-PP Board of Education, Pauline Emery, Corning Rotary, John Whaley, Principal, William E. Severn Elementary, Wendy Winnett, President, Corning Rotary, and Dr. James Webb, C-PP Board of Education. Photo credit: Bill Cameron.