Everybody Wins, Madison
The 3 R’s – Reading, Riting, and Rithmetic, were considered the keys to education in years gone by (spelling apparently not so much). Lately however, writing has evolved into texting, and arithmetic is often accomplished on an ipad but Reading is still the major tool used to connect a person’s brain with the outside world – understanding what’s out there and how to deal with it.
A large number of students today graduate from high school and are deficient in reading. Studies show that those who fall behind in the early grades seldom catch up and the cause is often simply a lack of interest in it .
The Madison County Education Foundation and our Public School administrators looked into this problem and have implemented a program called Everybody Wins – Madison to address the issue. It is based on similar programs around the country and involves matching an adult volunteer/mentor with a third grade student. They spend about an hour together once a week reading and discussing a book of the student’s choosing. Its purpose is not to teach the subject but to generate enthusiasm for reading. It has been operating with a pilot group for only a few months, but Waverly Yowell Elementary School third grade teacher Marty Ward’s letter to volunteers as it ended tells a lot – “ I just wanted to say again how much we appreciate everything you did for our students! I’ve already heard from many kiddos that you are greatly missed! In your short time with us, not only did you build a lasting relationship and promote the enjoyment of reading, but you truly made an immeasurable difference in the lives of these children! For that, I thank each of you!”
There are many more students anxious to participate in September but volunteers are needed to match up with them. If anyone is interested or would like more information please contact Bill Hinkes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-923-4750.