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  • Writer's pictureProject READ

Project READ-Redwood City Summer Accomplishments 2015

Project READ Kids In Partnership (KIP):

Project READ Congratulates Our Graduates!

In June, we celebrated several promotions and graduations. First, at Fair Oaks school, we said goodbye to fifth grade students, many of whom have participated in Project READ’s Kids In Partnership program since beginning elementary school. We were especially proud of all our students who received reading achievement awards and for those who acted as speakers and translators for the promotion ceremony.

We bid farewell to many graduating seniors at Sequoia High School. Many of these exceptional young adults have been tutors for the majority of their high school careers and more than half participated in Project READ as learners when they were in elementary and middle school. All of the graduating seniors from Project READ’s Kids In Partnership program are going on to colleges both near and far from our backyard at Cañada College, up the peninsula at the College of San Mateo, across the bay at Cal State East Bay, further to Cal State Merced and even across the country to Tufts University and Brandeis University. Our tutors range from valedictorians to the first in their families to graduate high school and we congratulate them all and thank them for their service and commitment to Project READ!

Project READ’s Kids In Partnership Summer Program at Fair Oaks School

Over 73 students, tutors, parents and siblings participated in the four-day, hands-on enrichment program at Fair Oaks School. Participants enjoyed over 18 hours of various learning activities across the curriculum and learning style spectrums.

Because children learn through real life and tactile experience, the program began with an in-depth look at sea life through a visit from the Marine Science Institute’s Inland Voyage. Children were able to interact with the scientists as well as the local marine life that they brought to examine. They learned how to safely handle each animal while also discussing the animal’s natural habitat and brainstorming ways in which children can help to protect that habitat. The next day, children, with the help of volunteer teen and preteen tutors, connected their experience with the Inland Voyage animals to a literature classic, A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle. After encountering many of the animals in real life, children got to meet them in the context of a story. They then expanded on both of those experiences by using a variety of art materials to create their own version of a life under the sea.

Students and tutors put even more of their senses to work in the cooking and science workshop. First, small groups collaborated to read and follow a recipe for guacamole. After tasting their creations, the groups moved on to making homemade ice cream and discussing the scientific principles at work in turning their milk into ice cream, with rock salt and a little old-fashioned elbow grease! After seven plus minutes of shaking, they were ready to eat!

Meanwhile, students also gave their gross motor skills a workout in a session with Lori & RJ of Cotton Candy Express who designed a movement and music workshop, part of their Brain Breaks curriculum, that stimulates the brain while also building social skills. After the engaging warm up, participants also got to try their hand at making their own music on an ipad app.

All of that gross motor warm-up was great preparation for the next day’s walking field trip to the Ice Oasis. There, students and tutors worked with ice-skating and Project READ staff to practice balance and movement on the ice.

On the third day of programming, students had the opportunity to become inventors. Using a bag of found and recycled materials, students and tutors worked together to brainstorm and create new things in response to several prompts that began like…Invent something that:

  • Makes the world more beautiful

  • Could float

  • Could hold a treasure

  • Would help a child learn

  • Could catch a bug

After collaborating, persevering, and problem solving in order to create and invent, students and tutors worked together to write a descriptive or persuasive paragraph about their invention. The youngest and not yet writing learners benefited from their trained tutors and staff using the Language Experience Approach to capture their thoughts and translate them into written text.

In another classroom, participants used the beautifully illustrated children’s book, Quick as a Cricket, as a starting point for reviewing and practicing figurative language and parts of speech as well introducing the next day’s field trip to the San Francisco Zoo. After reading the book and reviewing parts of speech, students studied zoo maps and the zoo website to learn more about the animals there and then draw parallels between themselves and different animals as the child in the story did.

The program culminated with a field trip to the San Francisco Zoo. Learning came to life even before we got to the zoo as children exclaimed over the planes near SFO, Lake Merced on Skyline Highway and of course the Pacific Ocean on the Great Highway. There over 60 students, tutors, siblings and parents, experienced animals up close and made connections about what they had read in books and seen online with real life examples.

Each day of Project READ’s summer KIP program also included lunch and snacks provided largely by our long-standing partners at Second Harvest Food Bank. Project READ participants greatly benefit from this partnership: Throughout the month of June, 222 youth and 102 adults enjoyed over 795 snacks and meals!

Project READ Kids In Partnership Program:

Reading Growth as Measured by Bader Post Assessments

From mid-May through mid-July seventeen Kids In Partnership students participated in post Bader assessments to measure reading growth, check in on tutoring sessions and finetune learner-driven goals. The students assessed during this time period demonstrated an average lifetime growth of over 5 reading levels!

Project READ’s Story Hour at the Downtown Library & Fair Oaks Branch Library

In June, over 65 students, tutors and family members from Project READ’s youth programs came together for two inspiring musical celebrations lead by James Henry of Samba Samba Productions. During the performances, audience members practiced collaboration, attentive listening, and perseverance skills all while learning about rhythm and percussion instruments from around the world. Families also enjoyed completing crafts and choosing books to complement their home libraries.

Project Read Families In Partnership (FIP) one on one youth tutoring program:

After assessing several students at the end of the school year, two FIP students tested reading at grade level. One of our sixth grade students has been in the program since the second grade and was reading at least two grade levels behind. She meets with her tutor regularly throughout the school year and summer. Her hard work and dedication paid off as she is now reading at grade level. Another one of our students started our program in the first grade reading almost three grade levels behind. She is entering the fourth grade and reading at grade level. Her perseverance and consistency in the Project READ program has paid off.

Due to many of our middle school students struggling with common core math, one of our community tutors dedicates his time on Monday evenings to prepare them for the fall. Focusing on literacy components within common core, our math group reviews what they learned this past school year and prepares them for the upcoming school year. Many of our students struggle with common core and often times this adversely affects other areas of their studies. We hope to prepare our students in both Language Arts and math in order to foster a more well rounded student.

A total of five new tutors were matched with learners all of whom are working over the summer in order to prepare for the upcoming school year.

Project Read Family Literacy Instructional Center (FLIC):

Summer Enrichment Activities: This summer with the help our of Junior League tutors and community volunteers, we have offered programing to all of our families on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Programming provides positive learning and enrichment activities for students from PreK through high school. Programming ranges from Book Clubs, science and cooking projects to high school reading groups. Parents are encouraged to take part or join activities with our youngest learners. The response has been tremendous, with over 30 kids taking part in the individual program days.

Our teen and preteen tutors have been actively involved in our summer programming, helping model reading and acting as mentors to our younger learners. You can truly see how this dual intervention programming is positively affecting both our young students and our teen and preteen tutors. This summer has helped authenticate a true community environment.

Summer FLIC:

This July over 50 learners and teens tutors took part in our week-long summer program focusing on reading, writing, art and enrichment activities. Each K-4th grader was matched with a preteen or teen tutor, then worked as small groups on varied activities all week long. The theme of this summer’s program was Monsters & Myth, so students learned about myths, legends and other forms of storytelling, then worked all week to create their own monster and write their own myths. Even some of our youngest students proudly shared their writing creations to the whole group at the end of the week.

FLIC Teen Tutors & Digital Literacy:

Twenty five of our teen tutors came together in June for our summer meeting and training, where teens worked on community building activities, honing their tutoring skills and practicing with new learning activities to prepare for summer tutoring.

Teen tutors who took part in our week-long program volunteered more than 20 hours of tutoring time each. Additionally, some of our teens also took part in our new Teen Digital Literacy program, where they learned about photography, videos and editing. At the end of the week session the teens created four videos promoting literacy, volunteerism and the Redwood City Library.

Nathan and Kelly's video:

Kelsey's Interview:

Lisette's Video:

Project READ is:

Adult Literacy Computer Lab:40 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 223 hours this month in the

Project READ Adult Literacy Computer Lab, of these 5 were new to Project READ in the month of June.

Project READ Adult-Inmate Literacy Program:

Art Enrichment: This month’s annual BBQ and Award Ceremony featured two murals painted by learners and tutors in the Adult-Inmate Program! Project READ learners and peer tutors in the Maguire Correctional Facility’s Choices Program and at the Women’s Transitional Facility participated in enrichment programming through art and community building. The talented women painted three 6 feet by 6 feet Dr. Seuss-inspired backdrops that were displayed at Red Morton Park during this month’s Annual BBQ and Award Ceremony. Project READ program participants in the men’s Choices Program painted Dr. Seuss-inspired projects during their daily therapeutic art sessions. The teamwork, creativity, and artistic ability the incarcerated students put into these projects exemplifies how they can give back and complete community services projects while incarcerated.

Alternatives to Violence:

A common goal for incarcerated learners is to break the cycle of violence and incarceration in their lives and our communities. Building literacy skills is a necessary step toward reaching that goal. Project READ seeks to assist individuals in personal growth and change by creating opportunities for goal-directed learning. This month Project READ piloted an Alternatives to Violence Retreat for incarcerated learners as part of a goal-directed learning plan. Eighteen incarcerated learners and tutors in the Choices Program at the Maguire Correctional Facility participated. Project READ staff facilitated the 21-hour retreat over three days.

Conflict is an inevitable part of life. The pilot program seeks to introduce concepts and new ways of thinking about conflict through experiential learning. This sort of “discovery method” helps participants experience “Ah-Ha!” moments and gives them an opportunity to practice pro-social behavior. Activities focused on community building, nonviolent conflict resolution and communication skills.

Project Read Adult Inmate Literacy Programs:

Tutor Training: Nine tutors graduated from the Adult Inmate Literacy Tutor TrainingFathers N’ Families: Fifteen learners participated in the small group “Fathers N’ Family.”

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