Numerous volunteers have stepped up to support the newly-launched StoryBox program, designed to address students’ potential loss in reading skills while school is out for the summer.
Studies show that access to books during the summer prevents a drastic loss in reading skills. With students home since March due to the global pandemic, preventing “summer slide” is more urgent than ever.
Recently launched as a joint project of the Westerville Education Foundation (WEF), Westerville Partners for Education (WPE), Reading Matters Westerville, and Neighborhood Bridges, the primary goal of StoryBox is to keep students reading over the summer by putting books directly into their hands.
Each WCSD kindergarten through third-grade student recommended for summer intervention will receive four books. Summer Intervention teachers also are receiving these books and will use them when working with students in their virtual classroom environment. Participating students soon will have access to an online StoryBox Video Library of special guest readers from the community.
WCSD Director of Assessment and Alternative Education Services Dr. Scott Ebbrecht, who oversees the district’s summer school program, said, “This is just one of many initiatives of how we are seeking to engage our students this summer in our district’s quest, given the current situation of not being able to have face-to-face classes, to become the benchmark of educational excellence in virtual instruction.”
Ebbrecht said his team looks forward to the fall when they traditionally report all that occurred over the summer to engage identified students and provide them with the necessary educational tools to enhance academic achievement.