Reading Partners encouraging kids to read over summer vacation

Reading Partners encouraging kids to read over summer vacation
Published: May. 24, 2016 at 9:30 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Schools across the Lowcountry are getting ready to close their doors for summer break.
Before the students leave the classroom, one non-profit organization is stocking them up with reading tools.

Reading Partners works with 600 students across Charleston County School District.
Demarco Finley is a student at Memminger Elementary School, in Downtown Charleston. 
Just like many of his classmates, he's already thought long and hard about what's he's doing this summer break.

"Play games, and have fun, and go outside, and ride bikes," said Demarco Finley.

This summer, he's also adding reading to that to-do list.

"It's very fun and good and you can learn a bunch of stuff about it," said Finley.

Finley is one of 55 students at his school, who is part of the Reading Partners Program. Twice a week, a volunteer comes into the classroom and spends time reading with him.

"I had the most fun with the child I was working with - he's just a cool kid, so we had a good time," said Judy Klein, Reading Partners volunteer.

Klein has been volunteering with Reading Partners for three years. She loves spending time with the kids she's paired with.

"He's very confident, he is loving reading," said Klein.

Some students involved in Reading Partners are one to two grades below their reading levels.  The one-on-one reading program has shown to dramatically improve many kids performance in school.

"His grades are just skyrocketing so its very exciting, he's much more secure now - so, it's a good experience," said Klein.

Klein says being able to have an impact on Demarco's reading has been rewarding.

"You always learn things from children," said Klein.

If you're interested in becoming a reading partner next school year, apply here.

Here's some tips for parents to help your kids stay on track with reading this summer:

-Take them to the library, get them their own i.d. card and let them pick out books to rent
-Set aside time at the house to read together
-Set a goal, log their reading in a journal and give them a treat of some sort for accomplishing it!

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