Inspired by the persistent marginal literacy rates among adults in our communities, Bill lead an effort to find a way to support our youngest students who were struggling to master reading. After talking with the National Campaign for Grade Level Reading, the Annie E Casey Foundation and leaders from Cary elementary schools, the Read-A-Book, Get-A-Book supplemental reading program was born.
With the strong support of Robin Lane who at the time was the Instructional Resource Teacher at Briarcliff Elementary, it was determined to target children who likely did not have books at home and who were not reading at grade level. These students were invited to a special room filled with books at their reading levels and about subjects in which they would be interested.
In the before school hours students come to the Read-A-Book center and choose a book. The teacher-leader in the room guides students to books at their reading level. As soon as a student chooses a book, their name goes in the front of the book and the teacher reads the book to the student. The book is theirs to keep. When the student returns within a week and reads the book to the teacher, he or she gets to choose another book. And the process continues week after week.
Some students read as many as 70 books during the 18 weeks the program operates. End of Grade test results showed remarkable improvement in vocabulary, fluency and comprehension when compared to similar students not participating in the Read-A-Book, Get-A-Book program.