YOU CAN HELP: Highland Park Elementary reading tutors hoping to save program

The one-on-one Reading Partners tutoring program is in danger at Highland Park Elementary, according to volunteer tutor Dina Johnson, who’s organizing a campaign to save it. “All the tutors wish to continue. We have established a close rapport with students and watched them progress. We know this is one of the under-performing schools in Seattle. Over 50% of the kids aren’t reading at grade level. So we decided to try raising the funds – $30,000. Deadline is July 15th.” They’ve set up a crowdfunding page here; there’ll also be a free Summer Book Swap event 1 pm June 25th at Highland Park Improvement Club(updated) details here. And look for Dina at the Westwood Village Street Fair Saturday, with a table in front of Giannoni’s Pizza on the south side of the center.

6 Replies to "YOU CAN HELP: Highland Park Elementary reading tutors hoping to save program"

  • Laura Drake June 20, 2017 (9:23 pm)

    Thank you Dina!  As a former educator at Highland Park, please know that many of these wonderful kids do need extra one-on-one help, like this tutoring program.

    All public schools are feeling the budget heat right now, and a decision was made to save money and this had to go.  So please help us to keep it going!! 

  • Kay K June 21, 2017 (8:55 am)

    Thanks for getting this out there! We just made a donation. This is the local expression of the unfortunate funding situation of public education brought to us by the deadlocks in Olympia. 

    This is one of the poorest areas of West Seattle, and the school is one of the lowest performing in the city, yet school administrators are faced with these either/ or decisions. Every resource available should be used to help our students, the school to prison pipeline starts with the bottom line!

    If you can, please help keep this program alive!

  • Ann Anderson June 21, 2017 (10:12 pm)

    This is not just a GREAT program, it’s a necessary investment in the future of every child who is behind the curve in reading. Just to note: Tutors with Reading Partners are hard-working volunteers.

    Imagine how painful and difficult school would be if you could not fully understand what was happening. And, if not helped in the younger grades, you would get further and further behind as each year passes, producing frustration and  apathy for school and learning. There are many, many  reasons kids cannot get help with reading at home or just need a little help. Not only that, but each child that is raised to a higher level in the classroom raises the experience and momentum of the entire class.

    Volunteer tutors make it possible to give children hours and hours of one-on-one help over a semester to each child who needs it.   The teachers are already way overtaxed for time with 30 kids – it’s simply impossible for them to give 10 or more hours of one-on-one help in a semester to every kid who needs it (as Reading Partners provides).

    I have volunteered for this program (in a different WS school) and have done few things in life more rewarding than watching these amazing children improve, begin to love learning  and gain control of their work – all in a very short time (due to a very effective curriculum that Reading Partners has created).

    We have a LOT of really complicated, difficult and scary problems to solve as a society today. This is not one of them. This is an easy fix with impressive results- it / the kids just require a little support .

    Want to cut down on future crime? Want to CREATE HOPE? Want to simply make a difference where it matters? Then donate or volunteer today for this program at HPE- or any school that has a need.  You just can’t go wrong …and can do a LOT of right.

  • Dina J. June 23, 2017 (11:34 am)

    Laura, Kay, Ann, Thanks so much, everyone!

    Ann is so right. A child who reads at or above grade level in 4th grade is TWICE as likely to graduate high school. Difficulty reading leads to chronic anxiety and frustration with school that could lead to many years, or even a lifetime of underachieving.,

  • Lynn June 24, 2017 (6:53 pm)

    Why not train parents to use this program instead? That would help kids continue to make progress over the summer. 

    Class sizes in high poverty schools like High Park are much smaller now. (20 students in grades K-1, 21 in 2nd and 24 in 3rd. )

    • WSB June 24, 2017 (7:46 pm)

      Someone has to do the training. That’s what the funding has been cut for.

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