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It was a paw-ty for Reading Recovery end-of-year celebration
An appearance and a performance by Disc Dogs was one of the highlights of the Reading Recovery celebration to end the 2015-16 school year. - photo by Photo provided

This year, the Reading Recovery teachers from Effingham County wanted to celebrate the success of the program and the students who are a part of it.

On May 16, the Reading Recovery students and teachers participated in a “dog-gone” good reader’s party as a day to recognize and celebrate the progress of the more than 140 students in the 2015-16 Reading Recovery program. The benefits of this reading celebration were: advocacy for the program from parents, board members and the community, student self-efficacy, and the promotion of reading over the summer.

The theme for the recognition day was A Reading “Paw”ty. The events were based around dogs because many of the beloved characters in the Reading Recovery leveled texts are dogs.

Students were involved in a “pup” rally (pep rally) to begin the celebration. They watched a disc dog demonstration with a message of working hard to accomplish goals. Jim Fox, husband of Reading Recovery teacher Regina Fox, performed with his disc dog team, The Border Pawtrol. Students read to VIPs (very important pups and people). These distinguished guests were community members, board members and board office personnel. 

Therapy dogs were on-hand as well. Students made goody bags with take-home books from First Books reminded them to read over the summer. Other events included face painting, sight word Bingo, and a Clifford reading house with story-telling.

Reading Recovery is a short-term intervention for first graders who have had extreme difficulty with early reading and writing. Specially trained teachers work individually with students in daily 30-minute lessons lasting 12 to 20 weeks. After a full series of lessons, about 75 percent of the formerly lowest students reach grade-level standard and the remaining 25 percent receive additional interventions. The goal of Reading Recovery is to reduce the number of first-grade students who have extreme difficulty learning to read and write and to reduce the cost of these learners to educational systems.

Effingham County has supported and funded this program for over 20 years because of the consistent and positive results in student achievement and student learning. The Effingham County school system currently employs 19 Reading Recovery teachers and a teacher leader who supervises the program.

Organizers thank the sponsors of the event including: TailsSpin of Savannah and Pooler, Kroger of Rincon, First Book , Mr. Jim and the Border Pawtrol, Marlow Elementary and Sand Hill Elementary.