- Associated Press - Sunday, October 19, 2014

CORINTH, Miss. (AP) - Literacy and reading programs at the Corinth School District have received a $394,000 boost.

Mississippi’s new Literacy-Based Promotion Act requires that beginning in the 2014-2015 school year a student will not be promoted from third to fourth grade who has not achieved appropriate reading proficiency.

“This literacy grant will help us turn the spotlight on reading. It’s important for us to improve literacy for all Mississippians,” Superintendent Lee Childress told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (https://bit.ly/1nsdwLM ).

The grant was provided through the Innovative Approaches to Literacy program.

Childress said the school district’s program is called Project REACH, or Reading Expands A Community’s Horizons.



He said it includes components for children, parents, teachers and the broader community:

- Children: The “Bright Red Bookshelf” project will have bookshelves painted in bright red placed in six to 10 strategic locations throughout the community “where families in need of print books can get them,” Childress said.

Constructing the bookshelves is an Eagle Scout project of student William Pittman. Members of the Corinth Mayor’s Youth Council will handle collecting donated “gently used” books.

“We’ll be keeping the book shelves stocked,” said Anna Kate Tomlinson, youth council leader. “I’m excited to see this take off, to provide a basis for reading before kids start school.”

- Teachers: New training programs for teachers will help get them excited again about teaching children to read, said curriculum coordinator Dana Bullard.

- Parents: Parents will be encouraged to read to and with their children in every phase of the program. They will receive materials on how to discuss books with children before, during and after a reading session; they will establish family literacy nights; and school libraries will be open 6-8 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and 1-8 p.m. Saturdays for Internet Cafe.

- Community: The “100,000 Books Challenge” will encourage everyone in the community to sign up through a link on the Corinth School District website and track all books read by 2016. A community-wide celebration event will be held when the goal is reached.

- “The Story Walk” is a collaboration by the Corinth School District and Caterpillar Young Professionals Organization to place story boards along the Crossroads Regional Park walking trail. Adults and children can read the story together from board to board as they walk and finish a book by the end of the trail. Boards would be changed out periodically with a new book.

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Information from: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, https://djournal.com

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