Over the past few months, United Way of the Greater Triangle has been working closely with Reaching All Minds (RAM) Academy in Durham. RAM Academy opened its doors this year to 122 students in kindergarten through third grade. After spending time getting to know their students, RAM’s teachers learned that the majority of their new students could not read.
Knowing that every child needs to know how to read on grade level by third grade to be successful, RAM’s teachers have made it their mission to ensure that every child in their school is reading by the holiday break.
After hearing about the students at RAM, two local companies put books in the hands of every child at the school by the end of September through literacy kits. Literacy kits are designed to help children practice and hone their reading skills outside the classroom, leading to higher on-grade level readers. Each kit contains a new book, a bookmark, flashcards, a note of encouragement, and a puppet toy.
By giving children books of their own, parent/child interactions improve as parents read to and with their students. The items accompanying each book are designed to help increase a child’s reading skills by developing their vocabulary through flashcards, enhancing their reading experience with the bookmarks, and building their confidence through the reassuring messages of the encouragement cards. The puppet toy is included to help students act out the meaning of words and stories as they read with their parents, to increase word comprehension.
During the first two weeks of September, Duke Energy created literacy kits containing Curious George and Clifford the Big Red Dog books for the kindergarten and first grade students at RAM. Syngenta Biotechnology created kits for the second and third grade students, featuring Flat Stanley as the main attraction. With the help of these companies, we were able to give every single student at RAM Academy two new books of their very own.
Thank you, Duke Energy and Syngenta Biotechnology, for your commitment to education and helping the students at Reaching All Minds Academy reach their goals of becoming readers before the holiday break. Your generosity will help RAM students succeed in the classroom and in life.