Read to Achieve gets boost

Published 9:15 am Thursday, July 5, 2018

By Jeanna White

As a result of last summer’s results, the Mebane Charitable Foundation in Mocksville approved a grant of up to $99,845 to support Davie County’s 2018 Read to Achieve summer camp for third graders who have not met state requirements in reading to advance to the fourth grade.

During the summer of 2017, over 24 percent of the county’s non-proficient students reached the required reading achievement score to move on to fourth grade, while other campers received extra assistance during the school year with another 11 percent of those students passing the Read to Achieve test in the months following camp.

“While a 24 percent success rate may not seem extraordinary to people not close to education, and more specifically the Read to Achieve program, that rate is better than those being reported by many of the school systems in North Carolina,” said Larry Colbourne, foundation president. “After seeing firsthand the quality of delivery and instruction at the Read to Achieve summer camp held in Davie County Schools in 2017, partnering with DCS again in 2018 was an easy decision for my board.”

This is the fifth year the foundation will partner with Davie Schools to fund the four-week camp, which includes first and second graders who would benefit from the support. Based on the state’s funding allotment, Davie Schools anticipates serving 77 third graders and 60 first and second graders.

This grant is in addition to a $2.5 million grant given by the foundation in support of  DavieLEADS (Literacy Empowers All in Davie to Succeed), a five-year early literacy initiative aimed at improving kindergarten readiness from 70 percent to 90 percent and to increase reading proficiency in third grade from 60 percent to 80 percent by 2022.

“Ultimately it’s our goal to have the number of children being asked to attend the Read to Achieve camp to go down,” said Colbourne. “If the DavieLEADS partnership is producing the results we hope for, then naturally students needing the extra help come summertime will be less. At this point we are just a year into DavieLEADS, so we didn’t anticipate a drastic decrease in numbers, as a result, we are more than glad to step up at this level again in 2018 to support our developing readers.”

Jennifer Lynde, director of curriculum & instruction for Davie County Schools, attributes the continuing success of Davie’s Read to Achieve summer camp to quality instruction by teachers, small student teacher ratios, and the integration of the arts with literacy instruction to provide engaging, hands-on lessons.

“Implementation of both the Hill Center Reading Achievement Program (Hill RAP) and A+ Schools during camp are extremely beneficial in enhancing reading skills and building confidence in developing readers.   

“Thanks to the continued investment by the Mebane Foundation through DavieLEADS and the Davie County Read to Achieve summer camp, these two initiatives together are building a strong literacy foundation in early grades,” Lynde said.