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News from the Education Foundation

Posted: November 12, 2012

LCHS Student Athlete Reading Program Provides a Different Kind of Treat

Halloween was a special treat for six first grade classrooms at North Star ES because the La Cueva HS Student Athlete Reading Program came to visit. The project was recently funded through the APS Education Foundation Fall 2012 Horizon Awards.

A La Cueva student-athlete reads to North Star ES first graders as part of a recently funded Horizon Award literacy grant.

A La Cueva student-athlete reads to North Star ES first graders as part of a recently funded Horizon Award literacy grant.

The 25 athletes and six staff members from LCHS provided literacy support and motivation on October 31 during the last hour of the day.   The project was the brain-child of LCHS teacher Debora Easton and is supported by the athletic coaches, the LCHS cluster elementary principals, and other LCHS teachers like Melissa Bash and Mike Reilly.  Recently funded as a Fall 2012 Horizon Awards grant, the mission is to support literacy and provide positive role models for elementary students.  

Over 60 junior and senior high school athletes have volunteered to read to primary students in five elementary schools.  So far, over 19 classrooms are scheduled for visits at least three times during the academic year.  Other participating elementary schools are Hubert Humphrey, Dennis Chavez, Double Eagle and E.G. Ross; students at these schools are in for a big treat as well. 

Four books from the Hog Mollies series will be read and discussed by the high school students.  Each book has a focus – teamwork, trying your best, doing the right thing and valuing diversity.  Grant funds will be used to purchase copies of the Hog Mollie books for participating students to keep, donations of funds to the five elementary and the high school libraries to buy books, and paper and printing costs.  In addition to the literacy experience, elementary students were encouraged to sign a pledge to read, do their homework, treat others with respect, and practice good sportsmanship. 

The North Star students’ interaction with interested and engaged high school student-athletes provided positive role models and definitely reinforced the joy of reading.  “Our first graders went home charged up and excited to tell their parents all about what they learned and experienced with these exceptional student athletes,” says North Star Principal Stephanie Fascitelli, who can’t say enough about the value of the program.   She says parents are equally excited about the opportunity for their children.   

Debora Easton reports that the LCHS students have already received thank you notes from the first graders  and pens from North Star; they can’t wait to visit again and share a second book with the students, as well as visit the other elementary schools.  Thanks to the creative team at LCHS, including Principal Todd Resch, for submitting this proposal for Fall 2012 Horizon Award funding.