Killingly, CT -a rural community with multiple program sites

In its tenth year, Killingly READy for the Grade continued operating 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. In 2022, Killingly resumed 100% in-person programming, increased average participation by 4 hours per child, and incorporated two successful adaptive strategies from 2020 and 2021: individual instruction and take-home craft activities.

23 students participated in READy for the Grade 2022.

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 13 hours of programming, an increase of more than 4 hours from 2021.

Of the 19 students that took the Pioneer Valley Assessment at the start and end of the summer, 91% maintained or improved their reading skills.

100% of parents who responded to an end-of-summer survey said their child(ren) feel more confident reading thanks to their participation in READy for the Grade, and they will sign their child up for the program again in 2023.

What Killingly Parents Say

“I loved that they kept the kids engaged and wanting to come back.”

“My child gained confidence in herself.”

“The teachers made my children more comfortable reading aloud.”

A Window Into READy for the Grade 2022


It’s Animal Week at READy for the Grade Killlingly. We’re visiting the program at the library today, but we’d get to see a similar scenario at the Village at Killingly. Both sites follow the same curriculum and the same format.

We begin by listening to the instructor read ABC Animal Riddles aloud to the group. Many children are clutching a favorite stuffed animal from the toy bin, enjoying the chance to share the reading with a special friend.

When the reading ends, students work in small groups, each with a different focus animal: coyotes, ostriches, or frogs. Each group leader primes their students for the upcoming nonfiction reading by inviting them to share their knowledge on the creature. As the group leader reads the book, she pauses regularly to initiate group discussion, assess comprehension, and reinforce vocabulary. Now, children take turns reading aloud. When they finish the book, every child gets to create their own mini-book about the animal their group studied. Younger students fill out a simple worksheet, writing four facts and drawing a picture. Rising second- and third- graders complete worksheets with more complicated details about the animal’s habitat and physical features. All of the children can refer to the nonfiction book their group read for help completing their mini-book. Everyone will get to bring their creation home today.

Most days, children also have fun with a hands-on craft related to the book they read.

Today, we spent extra time on the group activities. Before going home, children will enjoy individualized sight word games, then choose a book and practice independent reading.

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.



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

Telephone: (203) 859.6600

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