Rockville, CT – a suburban community with rural surroundings
Celebrating a decade with READy for the Grade, Rockville Public Library more than doubled its enrollment from 2021 to 2022, making programming available to 33 children. For the second year in a row, the library partnered with Skinner Road Elementary School, in Vernon.
In 2022, Rockville offered a total of 1218 hours of in-person programming to 32 children (51 hours per student per week for 6 weeks) and 12 hours of virtual programing to 1 student.
Rockville did not offer family events, but sent home books and encouraged families to read together nightly.
Children attended an average of 3 hours of programming at Skinner Road.
The instructor zoomed with 1 student 1-2 x per week for 30 minutes and delivered materials to the child’s home.
Rockville tested 30 students before and after RfG ended using the F&P reading assessment. 100% of READy for the Grade students maintained or improved their reading skills in 2022.
What Rockville Parents Say
“I like everything about this program.”
“The children always had so much to talk about. They learn more than reading — skills, kindness, comfort.”
“My children gained confidence in their ability to learn.”
On arrival, each student begins the day by choosing a book and reading for pleasure, either silently to themselves or quietly to a friend. Once everyone is here, the teacher leads a brief round of show-and-tell, then moves the group to the reading nook.
This week’s topic is Rainforests, and todays’ big group read is If I ran the Rainforest.
After ensuring everyone remembers what a rhyming word is, program director Mrs. Kearney instructs children to call out when they hear rhyming words in the book. Another teacher reads a chapter aloud (repeated from yesterday). Some children remember the chapter and shout out the rhymes before the teacher reads them.
After they finish the book, Mrs. Kearney calls everyone’s attention to a summary sheet on the wall labeled What I Learned About the Rainforest. Together, they review what they knew about rain forests before they started this unit, then go over what they learned during the last several sessions. The teacher invites children to share anything they learned that isn’t already on the sheet. She also asks if anyone would like to add another question to the big sheet labeled, I Wonder.
Encouragement is an important part of this activity. Every time someone answers a question correctly or adds new information, Mrs. Kearney says, “Give ____ a hand,” and the children clap for their classmate.
Children also praise each other for asking good questions and remembering important facts. Everyone is eager to participate. Hands raise high at the chance to add information or read a fact from the summary sheet with hand drawn images of the four floors of the rainforest. One child says, “You did a good job drawing Mrs. Kearney.”
At the end of the review, Mrs. Kearney announces the plan for the rest of the day: “We are going to do a little more learning, then our food craft: an edible butterfly, since butterflies live in the rain forest.”
Every child completes their edible craft following the teacher’s verbal instructions. They resist the temptation to eat the project until photos are taken. Some children take their artful treat home to share with family.
Puppet Shows and Independent Reading follow. Children separate into two groups. Those in Group One enter the reading room, read silently, and take turns reading to the teacher. Children in Group Two play with the puppet theater. By making up a story, performing it, and discussing it, the students in this group reinforce their ongoing learning about characters, settings, story problems, and solutions. Each child gets a chance to be in the audience and to be a performer.
It’s time to wind down. As each child returns to the reading nook, s/he selects a stuffed animal to cuddle as they enjoy the next chapter in a Magic Treehouse series book.
Before she begins reading, Mrs. Kearney asks the children to listen closely for details about where the characters live and how they travel. She reminds them to close their eyes and make pictures in their minds.
Before everyone goes home, they get to finish making the “cool chameleons” they started yesterday. When Mrs. Kearney asks, “Why did we do this craft?” students answer in unison, “Because chameleons live in the rainforest.”
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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New Haven, Connecticut 06510
Telephone: (203) 859.6600
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