SP Reading Program Nets Prestigious Nomination
It takes a village to raise a child, and that is just what Southern Pines intends to do.
And as a result, the town could elevate itself to all-American status.
Southern Pines has learned it is one of 32 finalists competing for the annual All-American City award (http://www.allamericacityaward.com/participate/) sponsored by the National Civic League. The winner will be announced on July 2 in Denver, Colorado.
The town was nominated for its Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Community Network a collective strategy designed to engage the community in the learning process.
This program is designed to ensure students arrive to kindergarten ready to learn, attend school regularly and keep learning through summer months.
The Campaign in Southern Pines is called Southern Pines Grows Great Readers and dovetails with the schools’ slogan “Growing to Greatness.”
“We want to reinforce what the students have learned in schools. But making it fun,” said town library director Lynn Thompson.
The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines Public Library and Boys and Girls Club are expanding their summer reading programs to increase literacy. The library sponsors different summer books clubs and family nights to encourage reading while not in school.
“The Southern Pines community cares about all of its children and realizes that reading proficiently by the end of third grade is a crucial marker in a child’s educational development,” said Mike Haney, former mayor of Southern Pines.
Not reading on level by third grade drastically decreases the likelihood the student will graduate, according to education research.
Statewide, 124 cities and counties are involved with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Community Network (http://www.gradelevelreading.net/). The program is multifaceted in its effort to make sure students are reading at the appropriate level by third grade. The goal of the program is to have 95 percent of students on reading level by 2020.
“We want everybody to be reading, all ages,” said Thompson, adding that it doesn’t take an award to prove success. “We have already ‘won’ by being able to participate in the process.”
Contact Kirsten Ballard at (910) 692-7271 or Kirsten@thepilot.com.
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