Troubled by the number of children who were unable to read and lacking strong family support to guide them academically, the Read with Me! began when a group of concerned principals, teachers, and parents discussed the upcoming Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT), and how their 3rd graders would fare on the reading section. The meeting was facilitated through JRJF’s Vision for Families/Parent Partnerships program; the school community, together with JRJF, determined that a new literacy program for families would be a critical first step in addressing the issue.
Ms. Markessa currently serves as JRJF Program Lead and implements the Read with Me! program. Here’s what Ms. Markessa says about one of her students.
“I had the pleasure of meeting Lavell during his 1st grade year through the Read with Me! Program. He is a wonderful, loving, and bright student, especially to have in the small group. Lavell was always willing to participate in any reading activities that came his way. In the Pre-Assessment, his reading ability was at a low 1st grade level. Some of his challenges were pronouncing words with a long vowel and short vowel sounds. He could only read books at a high Kindergarten level and had difficulties with completing a complex sentence. Although Lavell had difficulties, he kept pushing through his challenges. He always worked hard with every reading assignment and was always the first to participate. His Post Assessment showed an increase of 0.9 in the Edward Fry Readability Quick Score which lead him end of the year at a beginning 2nd grade reading level. It was a pleasure to have him in the program and see his growth."
Pictured Above: Lavell working on a writing exercise during a Read with Me! session.
We are thankful to our partners PNC and Northern Trust who continue to support our Read with Me! program.
Read more about RWM in our 2019 Annual Report.
Ms. Markessa's Tips for Reading at Home
- Pick a great book. Let your child select a book that piques their interest.
- Enjoy yourself. Use character voices, put movement into your story telling, involve your child.
- Use the photos in the book. Ask questions about the photo.
- Build reading time into your routine. For example, read before bed.
- Encourage your child to read aloud.
- Read favorite books over and over again.