Growing Moore Readers unites families and community partners to make every moment a brain building moment for children in our community. We work together to ensure all children in Moore County achieve the most important predictor of long term success - grade-level reading by the end of the third grade.
Research shows that proficiency in reading by the end of third grade enables students to shift from learning to read to reading to learn, and to master the more complex subject matter they encounter in the fourth grade curriculum. Most students who fail to reach this critical milestone falter in the later grades and often drop out before earning a high school diploma. Yet one-third of Moore County third graders are not proficient readers, according to local school data. This disturbing statistic is made even worse by the fact that more than half of low-income students miss this critical milestone.
Although schools must be accountable for helping all children achieve, providing effective teaching for all children in every classroom every day, the Campaign is based on the belief that schools cannot succeed alone. Engaged communities mobilized to remove barriers, expand opportunities, and assist parents in fulfilling their roles and responsibilities to serve as full partners in the success of their children are needed to assure student success.
For more information on third grade reading proficiency, visit http://gradelevelreading.net/about-us/campaign-ove...
Just as there is an achievement gap in school performance, there is a school readiness gap that separates disadvantaged children from their more affluent peers. As early as 18 months, low-income children begin to fall behind in vocabulary development and other skills critical for school success. Parents play an enormous role in closing this gap, as do daycare providers, pediatricians, preschools programs, and the broader community.
Research shows that learning begins long before a child enters kindergarten. Children, even infants soak up words, rhymes, songs, and images. Vocabulary development is particularly important. A child’s health, and the timely recognition of developmental delays, is another critical aspect of school readiness. Doctors, care providers, and preschool teachers play a key role.
Having books in the home has been proven to improve a child’s reading performance, cause children to read more and for longer lengths of time, and produce improved attitudes toward reading and learning among children. Additionally, children who live in print-rich environments and who are read to during the first years of life are much more likely to be reading proficient when they enter school. Moore County's local book distribution projects and book drives help ensure more young children in our community have access to engaging, age-appropriate books at home and give parents the supports and resources they need to succeed in launching their children as lifelong readers.
Research spanning 100 years has proven that students lose ground academically when they are out of school for the summer. The problem is particularly acute among low-income students who lose an average of more than two months in reading achievement in the summer, which slows their progress toward third grade reading proficiency. And it exacerbates the achievement gap with their middle-class peers.
Funders, policymakers, and community leaders can help schools and local organizations address summer learning loss by supporting strong programs engaging more children in summer learning opportunities. Transcending the punitive and remedial model of summer school, summer learning’s new form is a blend of core academic learning, hands-on activities, arts, sports, technology, and meaningful relationships.
Libraries across Moore County hold special programs and events during the summer to engage children and their families in learning activities and to encourage daily reading time. Community partners have also joined together through the creation of a BINGO card to encourage family experiential learning
Preschool children, elementary, middle and high school students and their families.
Research has conclusively shown that students lose ground academically when they are out of school for the summer. Therefore, the libraries will counteract summer learning loss by providing opportunities of hands on learning through strong in-house programs and by encouraging both reading and experiential learning with recognition and rewards given through the Summer Reading Program.
While summer is a time for fun and relaxation, for some children in Moore County it can also mean fewer meals and limited access to learning enrichment programs. These months away from school can lead to setbacks in learning that compromises the progress made during the academic year. Inspired by the vision that all children in the county will have access to quality summer learning activities, the Southern Pines Public Library, Moore County Library and Given Memorial Library have collaborated in Reading Feeding Frenzy. This program has moved the focus out of brick and mortar libraries and into the neighborhoods that they serve – especially those with high concentrations of lower income families, where transportation is often a barrier.
Each Friday for 10 weeks during the summer, children who come for Reading Feeding Frenzy spend an hour reading together, singing songs, trying out science experiments, creating craft items, and practicing drawing and writing skills. They enjoy bagged lunches during the session, and take home a book each week to read on their own or with a family member.
The program serves children in low-income neighborhoods located in three different geographical areas of the county. Libraries work with local advocates and partners in the community to connect with families—for example church leaders, low-income housing managers, and community elders.
The kitchen staff at Penick Village, a local Continuing Care Retirement Community prepared delicious and nutritious bagged lunches that were delivered by Rotarian and Interact Club volunteers. Donations for lunches, books, water, and supplies came from Kiwanis Club of the Sandhills, the Galtere Family, Rotary Club of the Sandhills, Southern Pines Rotary Club, FirstHealth, and Friends of Southern Pines Public Library.
Reading Feeding Frenzy was born from the need to provide educational opportunities to areas where transportation and literacy activities are few, serving children more likely than their peers to be reading below grade level. We plan to continue and expand the program with the support from each of the involved communities and libraries. After reading a feature article about the program’s first summer in the local newspaper, new donors offered their support to fund meals and books in the second year. In the coming years we will look for additional partners and examine the possibility of adding sites.
The program received a literacy award from the North Carolina Public Library Directors Association and was featured as a 2018 Bright Spot by the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. We also hope that our initial successes might constitute a model for others who have identified a similar challenge and are ready to try something new. The benefits for children and communities are real, and the promise can be realized.
Southern Pines Public Library, Southern Pines Primary School and Boys and Girls Club staff provided all children K-5 attending the Boys & Girls Club with learning opportunities throughout the summer, including 45 minute, small group reading sessions with teachers and teacher assistants three times a week, hour- long book clubs every week, and at least 30 minutes of Stop, Drop and Read time every day. The children were also enrolled in the Library’s Summer Reading Program and the time they spent reading at the Boys & Girls Club summer program counted towards books and prizes. The total enrollment of children 5-11 at the Boys & Girls Club during the summers of 2013 and 2015 were 199 students. In the summer of 2014, students from both SOuthern Pines and Aberdeen participated so enrollment increased to 287.
The Boys & Girls Club of the Sandhills serves any child between the ages of 5-18.
All students in the Boys and Girls Club participated in literacy activities. Students who had completed grades K-2 who were identified as “at risk” by the schools, are targeted for participation in the reading groups.
The mission of the Boys & Girls Club of the Sandhills is to inspire, enable and educate young people from all backgrounds and circumstances to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.
The goal of the summer learning project is to encourage families with children who have been identified by the school as already being below grade level in reading to send their children to the Boys & Girls Club for the summer, in order to maintain and increase their reading levels. There students are motivated to read through experiential learning, incentives and structure.
Chronic absence is a measure of how much school a student misses for any reason. It is a broader measure than truancy, which only tracks unexcused absences. Starting in the early grades, the percentage of students missing 10 percent of the school year can reach remarkably high levels, and these early absences can rob students of the time they need to develop literacy skills. Tracking chronic absence is a data-driven solution that can be built into federal grant applications and can be an integral part of parent engagement programs. It can be a goal for a funder’s investment—or a measure of a grantee’s success. Chronic absence can also tip off communities to families and neighborhoods in need of further support, since poor school attendance can be an early warning sign of challenging social, economic, and health conditions.
Vroom turns shared moments into brain building moments. Whether it’s mealtime, bathtime, or anytime in between, there are always ways to nurture our children's growing minds. With the help of Sandhills Rotary Club and the Bezos Family Foundation, Growing Moore Readers is activating "Vroom messengers" throughout Moore County to promote high quality family engagement, educate the community about early brain development, and celebrate the important role parents play in a child's life.
To access more information and free Vroom materials, visit www.joinvroom.org or contact Partners for Children & Families at (910) 949-4045.