Wascher wins grant to launch summer reading program
Posted on 06/16/2017

Students in Wascher Elementary’s current kindergarten and first grade classes will get some special deliveries this summer when packets of carefully chosen books arrive in their mailboxes. The packets are part of a pilot program organized by Wascher principal Kourtney Ferrua. 

“We know that students who don’t spend time reading over the summer lose ground,” said Ferrua. “There’s an abundance of research that shows summer reading loss has a lasting impact on student achievement. This plan aims to prevent that summer slide.”

The program features three packets of books and other materials that will be mailed to all students who are finishing kindergarten and first grade at Wascher. The packets include four guided reading books at the student’s independent reading level; one picture book for an adult to read to the child; sight word flash cards; a parent letter with tips on supporting reading at home; and a reading log to be turned in for a prize.

Teachers used classroom assessments to choose books that match the student’s reading level and also wrote individual notes to each student to encourage them to use the materials.    

“This district works hard to maximize student learning,” said Ferrua. “Last year, Wascher kindergartners finished the school year with 93 percent reading at or above grade level. Disappointingly, 57 percent returned in the fall with decreased reading levels. We’d like to reverse that trajectory.”

The pilot program is funded by a grant from the McMinnville Area Community Foundation.