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Volunteer readers needed for Club's program


February 20, 2020

DAYTON–Studies show that children who read at the third-grade level in third grade stand a better chance of graduating from high school and continuing on to college, and that notion has The Club working to help Dayton kids make that benchmark.

The Club has adopted “Opening Books. Opening Doors.”, a program which teams a volunteer with a youngster in Kindergarten, first, second or third grades at Dayton Elementary, with the goal of achieving 100% third-grade literacy by 2022.

The Club’s membership coordinator Kolbie Rodriguez, spoke to the Dayton Kiwanis in January, seeking help from the local civic organization to meet its goals. Volunteers will not only help children become better readers, but also will be helping students understand the material.

Volunteers will be asked to read with a “book buddy” at least once a week and continue with that student for at least the rest of the school year, or, alternatively, the school year plus summer, and up to this school year, this summer and next school year, Rodriguez said.

Superintendent Doug Johnson, who is a Kiwanis Club member, informed the Dayton Chronicle that in 2017-18, 67% (22 of 33 students) of the Dayton Elementary third graders met the benchmark for the English Language Arts assessment, and in 2018-19 (23 of 34 students) reached the benchmark. Other screening methods for reading only, Johnson pointed out, indicated that only two to four children are below benchmark.

“Teachers and parents meet to determine what type of reading intervention might be best applied to each student not at grade level to support their learning,” Johnson said. “The program brought to Dayton by The Club is certainly another positive intervention that can help kids achieve higher levels of understanding and skills.”

Organizers are hoping to get started soon. Potential volunteers must complete an application and pass a background check. Activities will be coordinated with classroom teachers and an informational luncheon will be held. One-on-one volunteer time will be between 3 and 6 p.m. at The Club, at least one day a week.

In addition to the Dayton School District, the Columbia County Rural Library District is also a partner.

There is a standard set of reading materials, available at the school, The Club or the library.

Organizations supporting the project include The Club, Dayton Elementary PTSO, Rural Library District, Port of Columbia, Don Perrigin and Anne Strode (The Club board members), and Innovia Foundation.


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