reading project

In this file photo, Baden Ferguson, 8, works with Napier Hill, a volunteer with the Community Reading Project. The Reading Project helps struggling readers in the second grade so they don't fall behind in school. 

The Kern County Superintendent of Schools office says volunteers are now being sought for the annual Kern County Community Reading Project.

The project recruits and trains community members to become reading coaches for local second grade students.

Volunteers attend a two-hour training session to learn the guided reading technique, then commit one hour, one day a week for at least one semester, according to a news release. Semesters run September to December and January to May. During each visit, a volunteer coaches four students individually for 15 minutes. A different volunteer is in the classroom every day, assuring daily-guided practice for the selected students.

Those interested in volunteering during the upcoming spring semester can choose between three training sessions: 9 to 11 a.m. on Jan. 4 at the Larry Reider Education Center at 2000 K St., Room 204; 3 to 5 p.m. Jan. 8 at 1300 17th Street, Room 1B; 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 16 at 1300 17th Street, Room 1B. No pre-registration is necessary.

A longitudinal study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that students who were not proficient in reading by the end of third grade were four times more likely to drop out of high school than proficient readers. Additionally, 88 percent of students who failed to earn a high school diploma were struggling readers in third grade, a news release states.

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