Spring School Supplies and Surprise Baskets Are Back!
This year generous Project READ supporters and volunteers from Trinity Church in Menlo Park created over 250 Spring Baskets for our youth programs. Baskets were filled with books, pencils and pens, games and some yummy candy. The students were thrilled to be given their baskets this year, an ongoing tradition for the past four years. Volunteers helped Project READ staff organize the baskets according to grade level. We are in awe of the generous spirit of our Project READ supporters. Thank you Trinity Church!!!
Project READ Kids In Partnership Story Hour -- Fair Oaks Branch Library
Over 65 families, students and tutors came out to see a new puppet performance, The Magic Tea Kettle, from Randall Metz of the Puppet Company. Families also enjoyed spring and wind-inspired crafts and were happy to take home their very own copy of the classic, Like a Windy Day.
Project READS After-school Tutoring and Programming at Fair Oaks Elementary
Over 80 youth continue to participate in Project READ’s Kids In Partnership one-on-one and small group tutoring programs at Fair Oaks Elementary. After the one-on-one tutoring sessions, the teen tutors have a chance to reflect on their tutoring sessions. Here is a bit of what they had to say this month:
“Today Maria (learner) was super! She read two complete books! I am proud of her and she was amazed that she finished a whole book in ‘one day’!”
-J. C., teen tutor
“Today Daniela (learner) and I read a chapter book J. She decided to read a
chapter book instead of just reading a picture book and I am so very proud of
-M. M., teen tutor
“Today Eduardo (learner) had lots of fun reading King of the Playground. WE
played Guess Who? and Connect Four. He did a great job on his homework as
-F. L., teen tutor
In addition to individualized, student-centered tutoring time, youth also participated in 28 book clubs. These Project READ book clubs are also designed to meet students at their current reading level and help them reach their reading goals by focusing on linking background knowledge to the theme of the book, using expression while reading to build fluency and discussing new words and the book to build vocabulary and comprehension.
Project READ students also enjoyed a variety of PE/gross motor skills, science and cooking projects that allowed children with various aptitudes and interests to be successful and shine in areas not usually focused on in the traditional school day. For example, during cooking time, after reading recipes and step-by-step directions, students made banana, strawberry and peanut butter wraps on whole-wheat lavash. They also completed a two-week project in which students made their own play dough from scratch and then used a portion of that play dough to create volcanoes. During the second week of the project, groups made chemical reactions to watch their volcanoes erupt and “melt” the play dough mass. Students also had the opportunity to practice collaboration and develop gross motor skills in a large group session of capture the flag.
Meanwhile, after tutoring time, teen tutors continued with art techniques like water color, crayon resist and using positive and negative space, to create and contribute Dr. Seuss-themed artwork for our annual BBQ and Award Ceremony. They also created three healthy smoothies and voted on which one to use with the learners at our spring festival. Tutors also practiced some of the outdoor games that will be used at the festival and fine-tuned the rules and space to make it as safe, educational and fun as possible for the little learners!
Project READ Field Trips!
Over 50 students, siblings and parents ventured to San Jose’s Children’s Discovery Museum for a day of fun and hands-on learning. Project READ families have benefited from the museum’s admission assistance program for over 6 years in a row and we are so grateful to partner with the museum to be able to provide this experience to our students and families.
The majority of our Thursday students, fifth-graders at Fair Oaks, had the opportunity to participate in Outdoor Education this month. The six Thursday students who are not in 5th grade enjoyed a mini field trip to the Ice Oasis with Project READ that week. Students were more focused than ever with reading and homework knowing that they would have a chance to flex their muscles and hone their gross motor skills at the local rink.
Project READ Families In Partnership (FIP): One-on-one Youth Tutoring Program:
This month was filled with exciting activity for the FIP program. Six new pairs started this month with students ranging from 1st - 8th grade.
One of our 2nd grade students, Alejandro increased by 4 reading levels! Alejandro started participating in the Project READ Learning Center program in October of 2013 While awaiting a tutor match. He has been matched with a one-on-one tutor in the FIP program for the past 6 months. Alejandro is now reading at grade level and feels like he has really improved his reading and writing skills. Congratulations to Alejandro and his tutor Diana for all of their hard work!
Family Literacy Instructional Center Tutoring (FLIC):
In the month of March 110 students toke part in our FLIC drop-in tutoring program, averaging over 40 students a night. We successfully partnered these students with trained pre-teen, teen and community tutors throughout the month. We are so proud of the dedication of both our learners and tutors, which can be measured by the reading and homework growth over the year. In addition to working one-on-one with tutors, students took part in pre-literacy crafts activities, worked in groups at the listening station, played learning games together with peers and tutors and used computers to complete online assignments for school using stmath.com and Lexia Core5. Fun to learn together!
Project READ Book Club
Our Junior League tutors lead our twice-monthly Book Club every other Wednesday, which has become a staple in our FLIC program. With over 20 students taking part each session, the pilot program is one of our most popular. Along with reading two new books and creating a pre-literacy craft, this month our students decorated their own cookies after reading The Best Mouse Cookie. Parents are welcome to join along as students work with tutors to practice reading a new story each Book Club, then take the book home to build their library collection.
FLIC Game Night!
Project READ Game Night—a pilot program created this year to work on language acquisition continues to build momentum. This monthly program held at the end of the month, is an exciting incentive for our students. This month students played Tell Tale, a collaborative story telling game, Let’s Talk, a conversation starter and HedBandz, a deductive reasoning game of ‘Who Am I?’ as well as others. New games are introduced each month to expose students to new activities and to work on varied focus areas. Our teen tutors have helped make this a successful program by taking part in the games and modeling language and appropriate team building techniques.
Adult Literacy Computer Lab
Sixty adults participated at Project READ’s Literacy Computer Lab this month. They worked to improve their pronunciation, vocabulary, reading and writing skills using Rosetta Stone and Lexia Core 5 learning programs. Overall, the Project READ Adults logged in 362 hours this month using these two programs.
Families For Literacy (FFL) and Stanford Early Math Collaboration
Project READ FFL adult learners with the help of their tutors provided information to a Stanford students working on a project to design workshops that help parents understand the value of early math talk for their young children.
Early math talk gives kids a boost by helping them enter kindergarten prepared to work with numbers. The research project is looking to understand more about the ways parents engage with their children around math.
Project READ’s Families For Literacy Story Hour at the Downtown Library
March Story Hour brought about 70 Project READ families and friends together again. This past month we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day by making three pre-literacy crafts using household items, so the projects could be recreated at home. Andy Z came by to lead the fun with an interactive performance where students ventured off to fun places using imagination. Hands On Bay Area volunteers were also on hand to help the kids create their craft projects. All families left with a beautiful new family book and other self-selected books to build their home libraries. It was a great night for our families.