At the start of school, Benny Smith, Principal of West Orange–Stark Elementary, presented information regarding the BGR pilot program to his staff. Teachers from all grade levels signed up to host paired reading volunteers.
Last week, WO-S Elementary staff members provided an extensive professional development to BGR volunteers. It not only instructed volunteers on effective paired reading techniques with elementary students, but also provided the volunteers the opportunity to get to know the teachers they will work with and the procedures associated with the daily operations of the campus.
“The training was excellent. The program’s objectives and vision were articulated very well in a clear and precise manner. With the training received, I know this program will be successful. I look for this to be an ongoing program that other school districts will look to adopt,” Moffett said.
Hoefner said he was impressed that he was actually able to practice the reading techniques that he and other volunteers will be using in the classroom.
He will be volunteering in a second grade classroom; while Moffett will be volunteering in a classroom of fourth graders.
Both men are excited to have an opportunity to work with the school district and with children.
Hoefner said, “It is so do-able. It is simple, structured, organized, and with measurable goals.”
Currently, nine churches have committed volunteers to the Build Great Readers program. They are Community Church, Faith United Methodist Church, First Church of God, First Methodist Church, First United Methodist Church, Salem United Methodist Church, St. James Missionary Baptist Church, St. Therese Catholic Church, and Victory Life Church.
The District hopes that the number of volunteers will grow and the BGR program will move into additional classrooms.
The trained volunteers are prepared and eager to begin reading with children.
“The level of excitement is indescribable in one word. It is always exciting to be able to be a part of a process to help a child to succeed,” Moffett said.