United Way of Trumbull County implemented the Reading Great by 8 Literacy Initiative during the summer of 2014. This initiative includes three programs, each designed to increase the number of Trumbull County children reading at grade level by grade three, with an emphasis on children from low-to moderate-income families. Since 2014, more than 9,000 books have been provided to children who participate in one or more of the three programs.
According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s “Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters”, three quarters of students who are poor readers in third grade will remain poor readers in high school. Academic success, as defined by high school graduation, can be predicted with reasonable accuracy by knowing someone’s reading skill at the end of third grade.
"Ready, Set, Go!" is a two-week summer intervention program for children who need extra reading assistance in order to pass the Ohio Third Grade Reading Test. Students are identified for participation by teachers of partnering school districts. Placement is determined at the conclusion of second grade. Certified teachers help provide the reading support required to meet the needs of their cohort of students.
Based on a 10:1 ratio, each child receives 40 hours of instruction. Success is then measured by the number of students who demonstrate improved literacy skilled based on a pre- and post-assessment.
ABC Reading Ready is a two-week summer intervention program for children transitioning from kindergarten to 1st grade who are identified by the participating school district as reading below grade level. Staffing includes a lead teacher and a classroom aide. Certified teachers help provide the reading support required to meet the needs of their cohort of students.
Based on 10:1 ratio, each child recieves 40 hours of instruction. Success is then measured by the number of students who demonstrate improved literacy skilled based on a pre- and post-assessment.
Read 4 Fun is an interactive program designed to build students' confidence and creativity through fun reading experiences with the help of community volunteers.
In the spring, volunteers read a story to K-2 students across the county in celebration of Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss's birthday. In conjunction with this event and in partnership with the Eastwood Mall, the program offers a "Seuss-tastic Reading Challenge," a contest where classrooms complete fun and silly reading assignments for a chance to win an all-expense paid fieldtrip to Dr. Seuss' BIG Birthday Bash at the Eastwood Mall.
In the fall, volunteers engage 2nd grade students by reading a select story, helping with a craft that is themed to the story, and providng a healthy snack. This event shows students that reading can be fun and not only about passing tests.
The fall series is currently held in all four Warren PK-8 Schools (Willard, Jefferson, Lincoln and McGuffey), Badger Elementary, Champion Elementary, LaBrae's Bascom Elementary, Lordstown Elementary, and Niles Primary. Read 4 Fun reaches nearly 4,400 students annually.
(The programs healthy snacks are generously donated by
Giant Eagle of Howland and Jamestown Villiage Giant Eagle in Warren.)
Reading Great by 8 is available at no cost to the students or school districts thanks to funding provided by our partners
and generous donors:
Arcelor-Mittal Foundation, the Cafaro Foundation, the Greenwood Foundation,
Home Savings, Ronald McDonald House Charities, a partnership with
Trumbull County Educational Service Center’s Striving Reader Grant, and
our Donors who have chosen to designate a portion of their annual contribution to support the Reading Great by 8 Early Literacy Initiative.