Sorority plans reading program

Published 10:18 pm Saturday, June 4, 2011

Suffolk students will get a chance to fine-tune their reading skills this summer at a reading program held by the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.

The Zeta Epsilon Omega chapter of the sorority, which is based in Suffolk, will host the program for first through fifth grades on weekdays from June 23 to July 1 from 9 a.m. to noon at Booker T. Washington Elementary School.

The chapter’s education coordinator, Jo Anne Jones, said that in the past the program has also covered math, but the group chose to focus on reading this year.

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“We’ve noticed that many of the children are having problems more so in reading, and we want to have those skills enriched and enhanced,” she said.

The program will include guided, independent and buddy reading sessions, as well as activities to promote the importance of reading.

“It allows them to experience how they can travel through books, learn things and experience life through books,” Jones said.

To enhance the program, the chapter’s education committee incorporated some of the Standards of Learning for each grade level into the curriculum to prepare students for the next school year.

Jones said participating in the reading program encourages students to continue to practice the skills they learned during the school year over the summer break.

“Sometimes when they stop (reading) during the summer, they forget some of those skills,” she said.

Jones added the program creates a chance to continue to address the educational challenges of some students.

She said the sorority has held the program for 29 years in order to help students in the community.

“We see the need and how valuable it is,” she said. “It gives the children something to do and something to look forward to.”

The program, she added is designed to be convenient and fun for the members of the community around Booker T. Washington.

“We wanted them to have a good time, as well as learn,” she said.

The program accepts rising first through fifth graders. Anyone interested in participating in the program can get an application from several local churches and schools.

Applications can be returned to Booker T. Washington Elementary School or to any member of the sorority.

For more information, contact Bertha B. Turner at 934-1514.