Reading Rangers Update – The Posse Grows!

Howdy Buckaroos, we have been on the Literacy Trail for a little while and thought it would be a good time to update you on our progress.  What a great ride we have had so far!  Dr. Lewis Ferebee spoke to our club and challenged us to make a difference in 20 children.   As of 30 October, we have 33 Rangers signed up and YE Smith Elementary school reports that we have already touched 80 children!  We have a particular focus on 12 students who need consistent assistance.  We would like to bump up this number. Of our 33 Rangers, all but one are Rotarians; one Ranger is from Duke Corporate Education. We are presenting to other individuals and groups as well to increase the number and awareness of the program to the wider community.    Every week more Rangers come on board.  Some Rangers have been working in a tag team fashion where two Rotarians alternate weeks.  This reduces the burden on each Ranger and yet provides consistency for the children.  The only down side is the overall reduction in the number of students receiving assistance.

Y.E Smith is extremely well run and thrilled to have the involvement of Rotary’s Reading Rangers.  Rangers check in and are initially escorted to the classrooms where the teachers are ready with materials for the Rangers to work on.   We work on literacy skills, especially reading, but sometimes we may be asked to assist with other things such as math.  The need is driven by the student and the teacher.

Currently, Rangers tend to volunteer on Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s, which is wonderful!  We would like to encourage new Rangers to help complete the week with more visits on Monday and Thursday.  This would give the students consistency and focus throughout the week, and should help the students make the greatest strides.   Given that many of these children do not have positive male role models, male Rotary Reading Rangers are encouraged; however, we want as many Rangers as possible.  Of our 33 Rangers, 45% are male.

We were treated to onsite training by the staff of YE Smith.  They covered some key principles and encouraged Rangers to encourage comprehension with reviews or materials read.  Rangers need to remind students to “think about thinking”, when they read.  An additional training opportunity will be conducted by the school near the end of November.  Tentatively we are considering 29 November at 4:30 PM at YE Smith.  The School wishes to share the Depth of Knowledge part of the Common Core Curriculum so the Rangers can reinforce the vocabulary the school uses when working with the students.

Finally, Y.E. Smith has a program that they call “Friday Clubs”.  These are held Friday afternoon to allow outsiders to share experiences, hobbies, or interests with the students.  If you have a passion, or would simply like to be a guest presenter at one of the Friday Club events, just let Todd Taylor know.

We have been published!  Check out these links:

http://www.durhamvoice.org/rotarians-don-reading-caps-to-promote-literacy/#more-9014

http://durhamrotaryclub.org/2012/08/reading-rangers/

We are encouraged by the efforts of our Ranger Posse.  Thanks to all for making such a difference.

Yee-haw keep moving along the Literacy Trail.

Submitted by Todd Taylor

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