Mission: Literacy program makes reading fun for students
Written by Haley Earley, manager of donor offers for The Salvation Army Northern Division
(Watch video) – Schools around the nation are celebrating today, March 2, as Dr. Seuss’s birthday, more commonly known as Read Across America Day. Students participating in the St. Paul Payne Ave. Salvation Army after-school program chose to celebrate by reading a Dr. Seuss classic, “Green Eggs and Ham.”
These students have been working on their reading skills through the Mission: Literacy curriculum since we began offering it as part of the after-school program last October. Mission: Literacy is based on the idea that every child deserves the opportunity to learn to read well.
“The curriculum gives us detailed lesson plans and materials for the kids. To learn sight words, for example, they practice doing different things with a word like reading it as part of a story, doing a word find and completing a craft related to the word to become more familiar,” said Wanda Fleur, youth programs coordinator at our St. Paul Payne Ave. location.
Mission: Literacy was formed by the American Bible Society as a way to increase reading levels while learning God’s word. The American Bible Society partners with The Salvation Army by providing permission to print and use Mission: Literacy materials. This includes the 90-booklet sets, a tutor’s guide, lessons and exercise, as well as games and tools to evaluate reading levels.
The after-school program energizes the students. When asked what their favorite part of the after-school program is, students cried out in excitement: “Reading!” “Writing!” “Reading!” “Being in reading groups!” “Riding the bus! “Dinner!” “Free time!” “Thursdays!” shared another, which is a day for gym and includes art classes. There is no place they’d rather be.