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Rotary Readers make big impact on East Aiken students

The Rotary Club of Aiken received a progress report Monday on the impact of its Rotary Readers program at the East Aiken School of the Arts.

And the numbers were impressive.

The presentation by East Aiken Principal Lisa Fallaw, Literacy Coach Kim Entzminger and Media Specialist Melanie Starks took place during the club’s meeting at Newberry Hall and included state test results.

But one of the biggest benefits of having the club’s volunteers work regularly with students to improve their literacy skills couldn’t be measured in terms of statistics, Fallaw told the Rotarians.

“This program is more than just reading,” Fallaw said. “The impact that you make on the relationships with our children to me is the greatest benefit, and they look very forward to having you each and every day.”

In the Rotary Readers program for 4K students, the focus was on literacy-based, arts-integrated activities.

At the beginning of the most recent school year, Entzminger said, 5% of the students were meeting expectations in literacy as measured by the "GOLD" assessment.

At the end of the year, 90% met or exceeded expectations.

“Sixty percent met expectations, and 30% exceeded expectations,” Entzminger said.

With 5K students, the Rotary Readers program targeted the ones that were enjoying the most success.

“We have intervention programs for the struggling students, but we really felt like we needed something that would help kids that were above grade level, those kids that were exceeding our expectations,” Entzminger said. “It’s often hard to find time to keep those kids challenged and work with them.”

Their improvement was measured in terms of text levels.



Click here to read the full Aiken Stardard article.

DeDe Biles/ Aiken Standard