A new reading program in Martin County hopes to prevent the 'summer slide' for students

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. - For some children every word can be a struggle and that struggle can get worse in the summer when school is out.
Now a new reading program hopes to prevent the "summer slide".

The Hobe Sound location of the Boys and Girls Club in Martin County is one of 12 sites that will run this program.  Over the next two months kids here will spend at least 50 hours working on their reading skills.

Student Michaela Campbell is using a computer program called Stride Academy.

"I think it's a good program to do on the computer because you're learning on something you like to play on," says Campbell.

Students will read passages and then answer questions that test their reading comprehension. If they get enough correct answers, they get a surprise.

"If you get it correct you get a coin and if you get 8 coins you will be able to play games," says student Victor Madrigal.

Campbell and Madrigal have learned new words.

"I learned "difficult"," says Madrigal. 

Both 3rd graders have been identified as "struggling readers". They're not alone. In Martin County, 1 out of every 3 students can't read at their grade level according to numbers from the 2012 FCAT.

"When you get a book that's not your level and you can't read all the words and you get frustrated," says Campbell.

The Children's Services Council received funding for a new reading program this summer. It will incorporate computer programs and tutoring. They're expecting about 500 students to enroll.

"It's not very often that we have the funding to hire certified teachers to come in and work with our kids," says David Vaina with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County.

Vaina says they don't want students to fall behind this summer. Kids know practice makes perfect.

"Kind of like tying your shoe," says Madrigal.

There is a fee for this program for each child. But some scholarships are available.


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