The Office of Durham and Regional Affairs formed its Education Architecture to help meet the challenges of low student achievement and high teacher turnover in Durham Public Schools. The Afterschool Reading Academy, featured below, is one of the evidence-based programs that form the continuum of the Education Architecture. The other programs and support services will be featured here each month.
“Crack! Crack! Crack! Baby chickens are born.”
A chorus of small voices joined that of Janelle Robian, a second-grade teacher at Lakewood Elementary, as she read “Eggs” by Becky Mann.
Ms. Robian held open the large book, slowly dragging her finger under each word. The small group of second-grade students followed along from their own, smaller versions of the book. Sitting alongside the children, on the colorful rug at the front of Ms. Robian’s classroom, was a Duke student who helped the children when they paused, or reminded them how an exclamation point is different from a period.
And although it was close to 5:30 on a Tuesday afternoon, the children were engaged, reading words with confidence and plunging their hands into the air when Ms. Robian asked how they think the book got its title.
Robian, the Duke student, and the second-graders were participating in the Afterschool Reading Academy, the newest program in the Education Architecture formed by Duke’s Office of Durham and Regional Affairs. Launched in September at E.K. Powe and Lakewood Elementary Schools, the program serves 60 first- and second-grade students who are behind-grade-level in reading.
“For students, end-of-third-grade reading level is a key indicator of future academic success,” said Phail Wynn, Jr., Duke’s Vice President for Durham and Regional Affairs. “By offering reading intervention to these students in the first and second grade, we hope to provide the solid foundation of literacy skills that they will need to reach their full academic potential for years to come.”
The Afterschool Reading Academy is held two days per week at both E.K. Powe and Lakewood. Each site is led by two teachers, who receive support from a small team of Duke student tutors through the America Reads and Counts program in Duke’s Office of Student Community Volunteer Programs.
The schools’ resident literacy experts lead the programs and chose the evidence-based curriculum: Reading Mastery at E.K. Powe and Leveled Literacy Intervention at Lakewood. Both models are designed to offer reading intervention in a fast-paced, fun and positive environment.
The 60 E.K. Powe and Lakewood students currently enrolled in the Afterschool Reading Academy will be invited to participate this summer in the new Duke Summer Reading Academy, a planned six-week program that will focus on fun and interactive learning on Duke’s campus.