R.O.A.R. (Reach Out And Read)
With illiteracy rates being extremely high in the Grand Rapids area among both adults and children, we found it necessary to add to the educational arm of our ministry and develop a weekly literacy program to meet a desperate need in our members. Based upon standardized testing that each child is given when they begin attending R.O.A.R., we have found that a large majority of our young people enter the program reading at least 2 grade levels below their actual school grade.
In an effort to help combat this growing problem and better prepare kids academically, R.O.A.R. was developed as a weekly literacy program that is designed to strengthen reading levels as well as reading comprehension, while creating an excitement and a love for books at the same time. Every participant is tested two times annually to determine their reading level and reading comprehension. Every member is paired one-on-one with a volunteer who works with them consistently throughout the year. Along with our library of over 3,000 books, we utilize high interest, age appropriate materials that are written at low readability levels. Kids are encouraged when they are able to read books that are written at their age and interest level, as well as at their ability level.
With the testing that we have in place, we are able to easily track the improvement of our students. On average, we are seeing an improvement of 1.2 grade levels annually in our members.