This Kansas City Initiative Employs Mentorship To Help Students Improve Their Reading Abilities And Enthusiasm For Books

This Kansas City Initiative Employs Mentorship To Help Students

Improve Their Reading Abilities And Enthusiasm For Books

This Kansas City Initiative Employs Mentorship To Help Students Improve Their Reading Abilities And Enthusiasm For Books

A class of second graders lined a corridor in Phillis Wheatley Elementary School on

a Wednesday in early April, each youngster was seated with a volunteer.

One couple talked about living in the Arctic.

The youngster stated that he would not want to live in such a frigid environment.

But, he said, referring to an image of polar bear cubs, “I’d want to acquire one of the cubs.”

A girl hunched against the wall across the hall, nervously smiling while a volunteer

told her she was too advanced for the book she had picked and turned

the conversation toward the story’s use of rhyme and alliteration.

A mentor walked a pupil down the hall through “The Lorax,” telling

him that she understood how difficult it also was to read some of Dr. Seuss’ books.

Lead to Read KC, an organization that works with schools in the Kansas City

region to improve children’s reading and social-emotional abilities, brought the two together.

The initiative focuses on kindergartners through third-graders, citing data demonstrating

long-term detrimental implications for pupils who cannot read effectively by third grade.

The Initiative Focuses On Kindergartners Through Third-Graders

Phillis Wheatley is one of 18 schools involved in the mentorship program,

which began in 2011 and currently serves 568 kids.

According to a program review, kids’ reading abilities have improved,

and their attitudes toward reading have improved as well.

The organization also offers books to youngsters, especially through the

Reading is Everywhere initiative and operates a mental health author visit program.

“I believe that everybody of Kansas City must stand up and become involved

in our educational system since these are also our community’s Furthermore workers.”

She explained, “We give them an organized, safe, and beneficial manner to come into the school.

And it dispels misconceptions, it also opens their eyes, it also opens their hearts, and they see the amazing

work that’s going on and the lovely kids that are here learning as soon as they arrive.”

The Outcomes Of Lead To Reading Have Been Favorable

The program serves many of the 29 classes in Kansas City Public Schools and nearby charter schools,

plus a handful in the Center School District and Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools.

Hart said the program has shrunk from 52 classes before the epidemic, she hopes to see it also grow again soon.

Volunteers from the program, who are commonly recruited from adjacent companies,

meet with the same kid for 30 minutes each week around midday to make

the commitment doable during a work lunch break.

The mentorship program costs Lead to Read roughly $5,000 per classroom each

year, but Hart doesn’t want money to be a barrier for any school.

The charity is looking for methods for schools to help cover costs,

such as putting Lead to Read in grant applications or using government stimulus monies.

Morgan McGrath, a second-grade teacher at Phillis Wheatley, said Lead to Read helps her achieve her goals

 such as concentrating on children reading nonfiction books to reinforce a lesson in class.

The program’s purpose, according to Hart, is to make mentoring straightforward for schools to implement,

as it also works with entire classrooms rather Furthermore than separating individuals who need special attention.

McGrath said the biggest difference she’s noticed since implementing Lead to Read is “engagement,

which, I believe, leads to improved reading accomplishment.

The enthusiasm for books and reading has risen significantly in recent years.”

92 percent of mentors and 98 percent of instructors believed the program had a good impact,

according to a 2018-2020 program review performed with the University of

Missouri-Kansas City’s Urban Education Research Center.


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