Killingly, CT -a rural community with multiple program sites

In its ninth year, Killingly READy for the Grade operated at two sites: the main branch of the public library and the Village at Killingly, a housing development. Killingly Public Library’s children’s librarian designed and oversaw the program, which was staffed by public school teachers and paraprofessionals.

31 students participated in READy for the Grade 2021.

Each site held 7 weeks of programming, with the library site offering 3 hours of individual and small group tutoring per week and the village site offering 4 hours per week.

On average, each student attended 7.8 hours of programming.

Of the 27 students that took the Pioneer Valley Assessment at the start and end of the summer, 100% maintained or improved their reading skills.

100% of parents who responded to an end-of-summer survey said they will sign their child up for READy for the Grade again in 2022.

What West Haven Parents Say

“My daughter can read to me now!”

“I like the one-on-one attention my child received.”

“The only thing I would change is to make the program longer.”

A window into READy for the Grade

• Killingly •

Combining some of the adaptive strategies from 2020 with pre-pandemic approaches like small group activities, Killingly enhanced the program in 2021 by helping families to promote reading at home. Each week, teachers invited children to select books for their personal libraries. They checked in with parents during pick up and drop off to get updates and provide help as needed. A highlight of the summer was a virtual family event with author Tracy Hecht. As inspiring as the following vignette from 2019 is, we anticipate even greater stories in 2022 and beyond.

After dinner, provided by READy for the Grade, children meet at the carpet in the center of the room to hear a story and have a cookie. The book, Grandpa takes me to the Moon (by Timothy Gaffney), is a fitting addition to their astronomically-themed evening. The instructors remind the children that the previous Saturday was the anniversary of the original moon walk and then they ask the children questions about the story and the moon landing event. After the whole-group reading, the children engage in small group activities.

In group 1, children read from a book with “finger tips” (fake appendages they slip over their real fingers to help them stay focused on the words). Each child takes a turn reading aloud to all the other children and each receives some phonetics reminders as needed from the instructor.

In group 2, students talk about the moon and help the instructor create a venn diagram of words that describe the characteristics that distinguish the moon from the earth.

In group 3, the children learn about Neptune. After watching a video, they read questions out loud and fill in answers on a worksheet.

The children in Group 4 practice sight/high-frequency words. They also talk about asteroids and play a game involving words and tin foil asteroids.

Group 5 reads new vocabulary words then reads a book together. Each child reads a page with the teacher’s help. They discuss similarities between the experiences the protagonist is having and those they have had in their lives.

For details, download the independent evaluation of READy for the Grade.

All Kids Need to Read

READy for the Grade serves a diverse population, with programs in rural, suburban, and urban communities. The challenges of living and learning with low income vary by setting. Click the site name for details.



New Haven





Location: 195 Church Street, 7th Floor
New Haven, Connecticut 06510

Telephone: (203) 859.6555

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