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Vernon Parish students read for fun

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MARCOA Media
By MISTY BASS
Special to the Guardian

LEESVILLE, La. The Vernon Parish School Board's Summer Fun Book Club program was a huge success. The schools participating were North Polk, Parkway, Rosepine, Pickering, Anacoco, West Leesville, East Leesville, Hornbeck and Simpson elementaries.
The program's purpose was two-fold: Fill learning gaps in reading and writing before moving to the next grade level and prevent regression in those skills over the summer.
Throughout the past nine weeks, students had an opportunity to read independently, work in small groups and engage in meaningful writing activities while integrating STEM science, technology, engineering and mathematics into their learning.
On the last day of the program, teachers celebrated their students' success.
Vernon Parish School Board Curriculum Supervisor Carolyn Bosley released the following statement about the program:
"The most recent DoDEA (Department of Defense Education Activity) grant has allowed us the wonderful opportunity of providing a summer reading program for our kindergarten through second grade students. Research indicates that students lose 25-30 percent of their school year learning during the summer.
"This can be especially harmful to younger students who are learning to read. Our goal this summer was to immerse our students in fun reading activities that would help prevent this summer slide. Our data indicates that students maintained their current reading level, while skills improved for more than 50 percent of students.
"I believe we can say the program was successful. We look forward to growing the Summer Fun Book Club next summer and reaching even more students.
"This summer we added a reading challenge component to the K-2 summer reading program, which has allowed students accepting the challenge to participate from home. Students were challenged to read 50 books and present weekly reports on a book of their choice. Students who complete the challenge will be awarded prizes, including a book in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. We have more than 250 students participating in the challenge."
There are already plans to make the program an even greater success for VPSB students next year, she said.

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