children during the summer reading program at Hedges are, from left, Kay Smith
of NECIC, Carla James of the Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with
Disabilities and Mansfield City Schools teacher Wendy Doup.
reading program for children, the result of a partnership between Mansfield
City Schools and the North End Community Improvement Cooperative (NECIC), has
drawn praise from a statewide preschool parent mentor.
Carla James of the Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities watched as Sherman Elementary teacher Wendy Doup directed children’s reading on computers at the Hedges building.
“I don’t think there is any program quite like this across the state. It is something unique,” James said.
MCS Superintendent Brian Garverick developed the idea for the organized reading to combat what he called “the summer slide,” the three-month period when students often lose their reading momentum. He turned to the NECIC to help develop a strategy.
“Mr. Garverick came to our office and expressed his concern that over the summer some students, mainly those in kindergarten through third grade, lose their reading level,” said Kay Smith, a NECIC community organizer. “He asked if there was anything we could do to help prevent that.”
is structured reading sessions for students at four locations. Doup directs the
program at Hedges, 165 Hedges St., and Crossroads City Center, 29 N. Main St.,
while fellow Sherman teacher Whitney Glorioso leads reading at UMADOAP, 215 N.
Trimble Road, and at Ocie Hill, 445 Bowman St.
provides mentoring assistance at the sites. Smith said James helped to prepare
the volunteer mentors.
“Carla oversees the parent mentoring program for her statewide coalition. She brought that training to our mentors here,” Smith said.
component of the summer reading are the MCS Chromebooks that Garverick provided
to supplement the reading.
Doup, Smith and James agreed that Chromebooks are important because many of the children don’t have computers at home.
“I have them read on the computers for 20 minutes, then practice keyboarding for 20 minutes before I allow them to pay games,” Doup said. “I have them log onto the computers on their own so they will know how to do that in school.”
he Ohio Department of Education requires third-graders to take their required reading test online, which includes keyboarding responses.
“Retention of what they have read is important,” Doup said. “At the end of each reading segment there are questions. They can earn stars for correct answers and redeem them for online ‘prizes.’”
expects the summer reading will expand next year.
“We got started late in setting up the program this summer. We’re looking at this year as a grassroots effort to build upon for next year,” she said.
“It is so rewarding to see the kids’ interaction with their teacher and with each other. There is no chaos. They are responding and they are learning.”