Teachers getting grants to help students read better - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Teachers getting grants to help students read better

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Literacy facilitators from Crown Point Elementary are taking matters into their own hands. They applied for a $2,000 grant from Dollar General and got it.

They purchased the program S.P.I.R.E. which stands for Specialized Program Individualizing Reading Excellence.

"With the SPIRE program," Literacy Facilitator Tina Mohrman said. "It allows us to really teach every child on their level - where they're at - and grow them from where they're at to where they need to be on grade level."

Before the SPIRE came on the scene, teachers were using any materials they could find to help students who struggle in reading.

"It was a lot of work," Crown Point Literacy Facilitator Marybeth Kubinski said. "And it wasn't getting the kids to where they needed to be."

"We would be piece mealing stuff together," Mohrman said. "And so that way it would be a one size fits all type of program, where as all kids would get the same kind of lesson."

Now with SPIRE, each student gets what he or she needs in order to read on grade level. Facilitators say this new reading program comes on time.  New legislation states if third graders can't read on grade level by the end of this school year, they will not be promoted to fourth grade.

Right now about one out of five third graders at Crown Point ES are not on grade level when it comes to reading.

The hope is this program will make a difference for many students' lives.

"We are seeing more and more kids," Mohrman said. "That are not coming to school with the literacy foundation they need in order to be successful readers."

Students who struggle in reading come to the reading lab four days a week for 45 minutes a day.   The program is for students in K-3. It just started and it appears the grant is paying off.

"The children are excited about coming to the reading lab," Kubinski said. "Where before they were like..Ugh do we have to come to the reading lab? Where now they are like - YES."

Workbooks, magnetic boards and other materials are used to engage students to read better.

"It's not your skill and drill," Kubinski said. "We are teaching the kids how to make letters and how to make words using bingo chips and different manipulatives."

Teachers say with budget cuts, they are forced to find other ways to purchase materials needed to get students on grade level. 

They are not stopping at this grant, they are prepared to apply for others so no student at Crown Point ES will be left behind.

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