Spread the Words-Read by 3rd!
The Summer Learning task force wrapped up the Munch and More program for the summer of 2013. This program ran on Tuesdays and Thursdays from June 11th to July 25th at Anson Elementary and on Wednesdays starting June 5 at Franklin Elementary. Volunteers were available during the summer meal program to read with children and encourage reading all summer long. Over 157 students participated in the program and about 300 books were given out. The campaign received grant funding to purchase books to be given out weekly to participants of the program. Through a great partnership with the Marshalltown Public Library, the library also offered additional programs to the children that participated. Iowa Public Television provided the Munch and More program with four Ipads for educational use.
This summer Rogers University (RU) completed its third year. RU is a six week program that runs from 8:30-3:20 Monday through Friday during the summer. In the morning students participated in small groups that focused on math and reading. The afternoon consisted of enrichment activities that built on academic learning but applied it in new and different ways such as art, service learning, physical fitness, and drama. This year, Rogers University also included 5th and 6th graders from the neighborhood that would be attending middle school in the fall but were able to be stay in their neighborhood and attend. In June, Rogers University was visited by Governor Branstad. It was a great experience for all and an exciting day for Marshalltown to show its pride in their students!
The School Readiness task force continues to make strides in developing a set of school readiness skills that can be measured, taught, and known across the community. The task force has developed a measurement tool for the kindergarten classrooms to use, which was piloted at the Pre-K Camp during Rogers University. They are continuing to work on a messaging campaign for reaching out to parents, providers, and schools on what school readiness is. This group has now taken on an additional role within the Rogers Promise Neighborhood project and is working on parent recruitment.
Various grant funds have allowed RB3rd! to provide hundreds of books to the families of Marshalltown through various health fairs and home visiting programs. As part of the messaging campaign, information has been included in many of the books of how to read to your child at different ages.
The Attendance task force has been very active in getting involved within the schools. In January 2013 we completed our first round of attendance ceremonies at all six of Marshalltown’s elementary schools. We recognized 688 students for having perfect, good or improved attendance. In April and May another 509 students were recognized. A letter was also sent to the recognized student’s parent along with a certificate for the student congratulating them for attendance.
Members of the task force have been present at various school events such as preschool registration and K-4th registration. The task force is gearing up for Attendance Awareness Month and has many activities planning including a float in the parade, a poster campaign, and presentation to various community groups.
This fall we will be working to concentrate our efforts on improving attendance in the early years. In the 2012-2013 school year 12.8% of kindergarteners within the district were chronically absent; this number has continuously risen over the past 4 years.
In July 2013 the first Health Advisory group convened. Representatives from the various medical providers and school district were present to look at data and discuss the issues and concerns that are present within community around health.