UWGB program connects volunteers with children to boost literacy rates | WLUK

GREEN BAY (WLUK) — A new initiative is hoping to increase reading proficiency for Northeast Wisconsin elementary school students.

UW-Green Bay launched a program that connects UWGB students, faculty, staff and community members with volunteer opportunities with participating school districts to boost literacy rates.

Officials say recent data shows a 14% decrease in reading proficiency in 2020-2021, with only 27% of Brown County students meeting 3rd-grade reading proficiency targets.

The Howard-Suamico, Pulaski Community and Sheboygan Area School Districts, as well as the McKinley Academy Virtual School in Manitowoc, are the first districts to sign on to be a part of the reading initiative.

To make the program even more successful, UWGB created a free online prep course for volunteers to learn best practices for shaping a child’s love for reading.

While the prep course is not required for volunteers, it is encouraged to maximize the effectiveness of the time spent volunteering.

  • To sign up for the course and for volunteer opportunities, click here

“Reading with children is more than just opening a book. This course provides adults with a variety of strategies they can use to help children practice their literacy skills as they read together,” said UWGB assistant professor in Education, Samantha Meister. “We hope this course will be a valuable resource for not only reading volunteers but anyone who has opportunities to read with kids: childcare providers, parents and caregivers, community programming educators and more.”

In addition to the schools already on board, volunteer readers will be encouraged to reach out to their local schools, libraries or other organizations to uncover more opportunities to read to students.

Source: UWGB program connects volunteers with children to boost literacy rates | WLUK

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