Summer reading program designed to improve student reading skills

4 elementary schools offer summer reading program

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Opening her new bag of books, Ashley Brown can't wait to dive in.

Reading comes easy to Ashley. Her little brother Corbin, has a bit of trouble.

"From 1st to 2nd grade he dropped a reading level, so he's been behind all year. It's hard to catch up when you're behind, so it's better for him to read over summer so he doesn't lose his edge," says his mother, Melissa Brown.

"We see a lot of data that kids lose ground over the summer if they're not doing enough reading," says West Gate Elementary Reading Coach Susan Hunter.

For the first time ever, West Gate Elementary school is offering students a library of summer books at their fingertips. 20 percent of Palm Beach County third graders failed the reading portion of the FCAT. This summer program is designed to improve those scores and help those already making the grade to excel even further.
 
"It's like new books they can keep or trade them," says Hunter.

Belvedere, South Grade, and Greenacres Elementary schools are also offering the reading program. A $10,000 grant from the Pew foundation makes it all possible.

All of the books are categorized based on different reading levels, so students can pick out a book that will challenge them.

"Its all nicely organized, so it's easier to pick one that's on their level and not too hard," says Brown.

Volunteers also read to students. On average more than 120 students pack into the library every Thursday.
It's a welcomed sight for teachers and parents who want nothing more than to see these student excel.

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