HUDSON–The Hudson City School District’s Montgomery C. Smith Intermediate School will launch new reading program for third graders this fall and the school invites the public to be part of it.
The school is looking for adults to contribute one hour a week to participate in a lunchtime reading program during which each volunteer and a third grade buddy will get to eat, and read and talk about a book of their choice.
It’s a chance to build a cross-generational friendship, and the grownup readers can share their own enthusiasm for reading with a younger reader. “The Power Lunch program’s mission is to promote a love of reading through a shared experience,” said Lisa Dolan, the school’s literacy coach. “In the process the student gains listening, comprehension, and vocabulary skills.
“It’s been proven to expand a child’s likelihood of success and gives a student a new role model from outside the school and a new source of information about the world. It’s also a new way for the community and organizations to support the school,” she said.
Mentors will get two hours of training at the beginning of the program in October, and can alternate with another mentor, and change days from week to week to gain added flexibility.
Ms. Dolan says she hopes mentors will stay with their reading buddies for the next few years. She chose to begin the program with 3rd graders because these students are at a developmental point where they can grow not just in reading but also in self esteem and confidence by connecting with a caring adult.
What it takes to make the program work are adults who want to give back to the community by spending an hour once a week reading with a student. The plan is to include more grades each year.
“Its a worthy endeavor,” said Ms. Dolan’s collaborator in the project, Principal Mark Brenneman.
Other activities for all students will include lunchtime book clubs and board game clubs. Elena Mosley, the founder of Operation Unite, will run a lunchtime literature and dance club.
The program is based on the Washington, DC, program Everybody Wins! DC, started by the U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) called his participation an hour of sanity; the late Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts also participated in the program. It has received local support from Ginsberg’s and Hudson lawyer Carmi Rapport; Ms. Dolan said other organizations have also called to express interest.
For more information about the program call 518 828-4360 ext. 1112, email or go to the website Www.hudsoncityschooldistrict.com/ms/hudson_reads.php