Ken-Rock Community Center (KRCC), like many community centers, offers after-school care. Like most community centers, academic as well as recreational activities are included in those after-school hours. But over the past couple of years, something special has been happening at KRCC.
In the Fall 2016 Community Grants cycle, KRCC was awarded a multi-year grant to enhance the reading instruction provided during their after-school program. The award allowed KRCC to hire a certified reading instructor for more hours, with the goal of every student receiving several hours of intentional instruction every week. In addition to expanding the hours of certified instruction, KRCC also employs a thorough intake process which allows them to better understand the needs of each individual student. The process includes a pre-test, communication with the child’s classroom teacher, report card review, and parent interviews; all of these steps allow for tailored instruction and more targeted assistance.
Further, to combat the challenge of working with students from a wide age range and with varying reading levels, KRCC set up reading circles: small groups of six students of similar reading levels.
The degree to which this program is helping students approve their reading is astounding. Compared to a district average of just over 20% of students reading at or above grade level, 88% of KRCC program participants are reading at or above grade level. Despite the fact that a majority of the students come from low-income families and from households which overwhelmingly do not have an adult with a Bachelor’s degree, 96%+ of the program participants are graduating to the next grade based on merit, an indication that these students are on track to graduation. KRCC is proving that targeted, intensive assistance can provide the boost that helps students meet or exceed academic expectations.
To the staff and families of Ken-Rock Community Center, we applaud your efforts. It is our privilege to support and share the good news about this exceptional program. Keep up the GREAT work!