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It Starts With "Reading"
Wednesday, 20 March 2013

March 20--  If you can't read, you're in trouble and the Vidalia City School System is doing something about it.

"Reading is a predictor of future success.  There's a direct correlation between your reading skills and why and how you're going to graduate and what place you're going to gradutate when you're a senior," observes Lucy Claroni, the Curriculum Director for the school system.

The school system has received a $1 million grant to improve reading in its four schools.  

It will help teachers learn how to teach reading better, buy books for libraries and classrooms and invest in new technology.

"Right now we don't even have enough money to buy textbooks.  With the grant we'll have a rich environment with books and down the line each child will have an E-Reader to download their textbooks and books they enjoy reading into their E-Reader," she says.

Claroni says it costs the school system a quarter-million dollars each time it buys a new textbook.  These expenses can be avoided in the future.

"Whenever there is an update, students can download an update.  For example, science textbooks and history textbooks get outdated monthly," she reports.

Part of the grant program calls for assessments of students' reading progress and that's where parents come in.

"Parents need to be aware of those assessments and when they see those assessments and what their child's strengths and weaknesses are, they need to ask the child's reading teacher what they can do at home to strengthen the child's weaknesses.  It also doesn't matter what grade level their child is in because we're working with all grade levels from kindergarten to high school," Claroni says.

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