South San Francisco Public Library Receives Grant to Support New Reading Intervention Program

South San Francisco, CA   July 10, 2015  Submitted by Leslie Arroyo City of South San Francisco

“Reading Circles” supports students whom are currently reading below grade level SSF logo

The California State Library awarded South San Francisco’s Library Department $49,400 in federal grant money, which will allow the Library to implement a reading skill-building program known as Reading Circles. Reading Circles is a reading intervention program that will provide explicit reading instruction taught in small groups by trained volunteers using the SIPPS curriculum. SIPPS, Systematic Instruction in Phonological Awareness, Phonics, and Sight Words, is a research-based approach to reading instruction.

South San Francisco Library Director, Valerie Sommer says ideally by the end of third grade, each child should be able to read proficiently. “Research has shown that there is a strong correlation between a student’s reading ability in third grade and his or her future academic success.” Sommer says her staff works with many children that are performing below grade level, some as much as 1-3 grades below proficiency.

This new reading intervention program is for 85 children, from kindergarten through fifth grade, that participate in the afterschool program at South San Francisco Public Library’s Community Learning Center (CLC). The CLC’s afterschool programs serve three elementary schools that are all designated as Title I schools by the California Department of Education. Their research-based approach, SIPPS, incorporates structured, proven teaching strategies in phonics, word attack skills, vocabulary development, fluency and comprehension.

Trained staff and volunteers will work three hours a week with each small group (4-6) of children that share the need for specific instruction. In addition to targeted small groups, each of the afterschool classes will engage in exciting reading activities during educational enrichment classes.

Sommer says this new reading intervention program is a sustainable program that can continue for years to come and a program in which the results of it are more than just measurement numbers. “The impact of reducing the struggles of a poor reader will be an increase in confidence, an ability to absorb more knowledge overall through reading, and a greater enjoyment in learning and succeeding in school and beyond.

Make a Difference by Volunteering!

The Community Learning Center is looking for volunteers for the new “Reading Circles” program. Volunteers will teach small groups of 4-6 elementary school students using state-of-the-art curriculum provided by the library. Commitment is 2-4 hours a week during the school year at the library’s after-school program, The Community Learning Center.

If interested or have additional questions, please contact Karla Molina Bourdon (650) 877-8541.

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