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Summer Boost program helps at-risk students

by Mark Hebert, communications and marketing last modified Jun 19, 2012 10:14 AM

A group of 80 Jefferson County school students are getting an academic “boost” this summer through a unique partnership between the University of Louisville and an elementary school located in one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods.

Summer Boost program helps at-risk students

Emily Alvey, who’s working on her master’s in reading education, reads with 6-year-old Denver Bailey.

At the J.B. Atkinson Academy for Excellence in Teaching and Learning in Portland, students in kindergarten through eighth grade are receiving a daily dose of books and storytelling through the Summer Boost program, which runs June 4 – 29.

A $40,000 grant from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education funds the program with Atkinson teachers, 14 College of Education and Human Development graduate students and their faculty mentors administering it. While Atkinson teachers instruct the class, the UofL graduate students work with the students one-on-one and in small groups. The grant money pays for transportation, meals, books and other educational materials.

While Atkinson teachers instruct the class, the UofL graduate students work with the students one-on-one. The grant money pays for transportation, meals, books and other educational materials.

Summer Boost targets at-risk youth who might not have an opportunity to do much reading over the summer or who might need remedial help, said Program Director Christine Sherretz, an assistant education professor at UofL.

Studies, she noted, have shown that at-risk students read just as well as their peers when school is in session, but they can lose up to three months of academic reading progress over the summer months.

The Summer Boost program is for students from Atkinson, Western Middle and Westport Middle. At the conclusion of the program, students will take home 10 books each so they can continue their summer reading and retain what they have learned.

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