Raising Readers grant funds to help young students in Nevada and Colo-Nesco

Marlys Barker Nevada
Journal Editor

Raising Readers in Story County received a $6,000 grant during the recent awards by the Story County Community Foundation. The grant will allow for expanded tutoring for children through a dialogic reading program.

Kim Hanna, director of Raising Readers in Story County, said, “StoryPals is our dialogic reading program already in place at Northwood Preschool in Ames and with preschoolers at Central in Nevada. We’ve been working with staff at Colo-Nesco and later this fall and winter, we’ll be bringing this free literacy-enrichment program to Colo-Nesco preschoolers,” she said.

Trained volunteers will work with students for about 20 minutes each week using dialogic reading techniques to increase students’ vocabulary and improve comprehension skills, and they will read with the children. Volunteers will seek to engage students in a story and help them relate the story back to their own lives.

“This fall, 40 children in Nevada and nine children in Ames are already participating in the program, and we’re excited to expand to Colo-Nesco,” Hanna said.

Grant funds will also help with Reading Buddies, a free summer tutoring program that Raising Readers will be expanding to Nevada in the summer of 2017.

“We plan to have two sites in Nevada,” Hanna said. “Families will be able to register through our website next spring for the six-week program where students work twice a week for 45 minutes with trained volunteers to maintain or increase their reading level.” This work, over the summer, she added, can help them avoid the “summer slump.”

The program will be available to children finishing kindergarten through finishing third grade. “We will be looking for volunteers in Nevada as well, to make this program possible, so anyone interested should contact our office (email: director@raising-readers.org) for more information,” Hanna said.