PRC Partners in Leadership has literacy program

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Pearl River County Partners in Leadership are seeking literary donations, which will be used to boost the reading skills of elementary students in Picayune.
According to previous Item coverage, each year, members of Partners form groups and choose a community project to support. One group is raising funds for a children’s splash pad in Friendship Park.
Partners Chaplain Ryan Wade’s group is hosting a literacy project this year to promote literacy among children. Wade’s group includes Kerry Cortez and Mark Porter and some community volunteers.
This year, for the first time, Mississippi’s third graders will be required to take and pass a test in order to advance to fourth grade, Wade said. The students who do not pass the first time will have a chance to retest in May and July. According to the 2013 Mississippi Literacy Promotion Act, children can no longer be socially promoted, he said.
“Our group has five members and we mentor about 15 third grade children at Nicholson Elementary,” Wade said. “We have three reading buddies apiece and each one received individual attention. We read to them, they read to us and then answer questions about what they have read. We focus on reading and comprehension.”
This summer, in conjunction with the Picayune School District’s feeding program, the group will provide a mobile library at Southside Elementary, Wade said. Partners members will sit down with the children and read to them. Children will also be able to check out books.
“It is our goal to keep the children reading during the summer so they will have a better foundation when school starts in August,” Wade said. “The focus will be on the second and third graders, including those who don’t pass the test.”
The group will be hosting a book drive from now through the end of May, Wade said. The mobile library program is set to begin in June.
The group is seeking books for elementary students and donations can be dropped off at Ted Musgrove State Farm Insurance Agency located at 509 Hwy. 11 N. Suite A and First Baptist Church Picayune located at 401 Goodyear Blvd.
“We limited our reading buddy project to one school to use as a pilot program,” Wade said. “I would love to see enough community support for there to be reading buddies in all schools next year.”
For more information, contact Wade at 601-798-4886.

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