Assignment: Education – Read to Success Expands

La Crosse businesses partner with La Crosse...

A local community partnership is pairing children who could use a little reading boost with volunteers from area businesses. The program is called Read to Success, and it takes place in the La Crosse School District.

The district first introduced the program in March, when it was launched at Hamilton Elementary School.

This year, the program is being rolled out again, and it begins this week.

The idea behind Read to Success is to two-fold. First, the program gives kids some additional vocabulary and comprehension help by working with volunteers from partnering businesses. It’s also a great way for kids to build a relationship with those adult volunteers.

Beginning this year, three additional La Crosse elementary schools will begin offering the program to students.

“People (volunteers) will come in and follow a fairly scripted program for reading instruction,” said Hamilton/SOTA I Principal Steve Michaels. “And it’s not to replace instruction that a child would receive with a teacher, but it’s to enhance it.”

The volunteers for the program are coordinated through a partnership with the Great Rivers United Way.

LHI in downtown La Crosse is returning this year to work with students at Hamilton, and volunteers from Kaplan and Dairyland Power will be partnered with Northside, Emerson and Hintgen Elementary schools.

The program at those schools will begin next month.

“We believe that the program offers a unique opportunity for our local businesses to get into the schools and experience the school setting,” said Rob Tyvoll, La Crosse School Districts supervisor for academic programs and staff development. “Also, we have lots of caring adults in those businesses that want to spend some time with the kids and find a way to give back. From an academic perspective, it gives us the opportunity to put tutors in front of the kids and work with comprehension and vocabulary.”

All four elementary schools will each have about six volunteer tutors that will work with twelve students at each site.

The program currently focuses on third graders.

The district hopes to expand the tutoring help to students across all grade levels in the future.