Program prepares young students

CORTLAND — Students at Lakeview Elementary School have spent part of their summer getting prepared for the upcoming school year.

The ABC Reading Ready program helped improve students’ reading skills. The program was conducted in six area school districts as part of a $1.2 million Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy federal grant.

Angela Guarnieri and Lauren DeJulio, both curriculum supervisors with the Trumbull County Educational Service Center, were able to obtain federal funding.

Guarnieri said the program is a partnership between TCESC and the United Way of Trumbull County as part of the federal grant guidelines.

Ginny Pasha, president of the United Way of Trumbull County, said the ABC Reading Ready program or Ready Set Go programs for elementary age children have been offered this summer at Lakeview, Lordstown, Newton Falls, Weathersfield, Southington and Joseph Badger schools.

ABC Reading Ready is for students transitioning from kindergarten to first grade and Ready Set Go program is for children transitioning from second to third grade.

“Each school is able to pick which program they want to offer which best meets the needs of the children in their district,” said Pasha, indicating selections were based on recommendations from teachers.

Lakeview Elementary teacher Carrie Probst said the 15 students going into first grade focused on letters, sounds, phonics and blending of sounds.

“This offers extra preparation to gain first-grade skills,” Probst said noting the students receive one-on-one and group learning.

Skyler Simmons, 6, said she is reading better by learning her sounds.

Guarineri said the summer program is based on Ohio’s plan to raise literacy.

“The instructional approach through the summer school program and the curriculum is based on closing gaps in reading for students who need assistance or may be struggling readers,” she said.

Guarineri said each school district qualified based on student data.

DeJulio said the program is also funded for the summer of 2020, with children in class for 64 hours.

“As part of the grant we have a community partner — the United Way,” Guarnieri said.

Pasha said the Ready Set Go program was the first offered by the United Way, with ABC Reading Ready added later.

“We are happy to have six additional school districts as part of the program and taking advantage of the opportunity to offer summer intervention,” Pasha said.

Lakeview Elementary Principal Scott Taylor said the teachers have received a lot of training for the program and professional development.

“Teaching reading can be very complex. The teacher have benefited for the grant with training, instruction and materials they can utilize in their classrooms,” Taylor said.

He said the school also offers a Jump Start program for 5- and 6-year-olds entering kindergarten.

Taylor said the district also provided transportation for the summer program.

“There are students who would not have been able to be here if there was not transportation,” Taylor said.

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