Girls Inc. of Chattanooga announces the Bookworm Club, a new afterschool program for first and second grade girls at East Ridge and Woodmore Elementary Schools. Girls in the program will explore their world through literacy activities including poetry, plays, storytelling, public speaking, reading and writing.
The Bookworm Club is funded by grants from United Way’s New Opportunities Fund, the Weldon F. Osborne Foundation, Amazon Fulfillment and the Chattanooga Downtown Rotary Club.
The program was developed in response to statistics found in 2010 (most recent data available) national and state assessments of reading scores in Hamilton County schools. The county scored a grade of C in Academic Achievement for reading and a D in the new standards of the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System evaluation. Only 35.9 percent of Hamilton County students in the 3rd through 8th grade scored “proficient” in reading on the state’s academic report card.
"Literacy is the gateway to academic success," said Bea Luri, Girls Inc. of Chattanooga president and CEO. "The Bookworm Club program, an early intervention program, will work with girls to make the written word jump off the page and into their imaginations. The goal is to turn Girls Inc. girls into bookworms who treasure reading so it becomes the foundation for success in their schooling and life.”
In its first year, the program will meet two days a week at each school. Girls will also receive homework help and participate in early preparation exercises for TCAP testing.
Rick Smith, superintendent of the Hamilton County School System, said, “We value our long standing partnership with Girls Inc. of Chattanooga and the impact of their afterschool and in-school programs. The Bookworm Club is an important new program for our students.”
“We are proud to partner with Girls Inc. of Chattanooga on this innovative program to instill a love of reading for students during a key time in their development,” said Keith Stevens, general manager of Amazon’s Chattanooga Fulfillment Center.
The Chattanooga Public Library is also a program partner that will provide programs during several planned visits to the downtown location. All of the girls will get library cards at either the Chattanooga or East Ridge libraries.