C-SC and Rotary to honor ‘Literacy Heros’
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
CANTON, Mo. – IRARI (Rotary International and the International Reading Association) and Culver-Stockton College will present the first "Literacy Hero” Awards to Angie Ruebush, principal, Pittsfield South School, Pittsfield, Ill., and to Brian Rhoades, former principal at Pittsfield and currently Grade 6-8 principal at Pikeland Community School, for their work to help sustain reading among area students over the summer months.
Rhoades and Ruebush inherited a summer bookmobile program from former South School Principal Dan Brue, who launched the bookmobile program in 2005. Rhoades trained Ruebush in bookmobile operations and helped with the initial visits over the past summer, and Ruebush wrapped up the final visits on her own with a basket of books for students to choose from perched on the back seat of her car. The bookmobile route includes 50 stops in Milton, Nebo, New Canton, Pittsfield and Martinsburg.
Through the bookmobile program, the South School Principal takes the basket of books to three daycare centers and the homes of students, K-2, four times over the summer. Each student can choose one book at their reading level, which must be returned, and can pick one book to keep from the old reading series that is no longer used in the Pittsfield District.
“Extensive research has found that if students don’t read over the summer, their reading skills decline significantly by the time they return to school in the fall,” said K. Terry Sherer, Culver-Stockton associate professor and chair of the Education and Applied Arts Division. “Programs like the bookmobile in Pittsfield are an important approach to preventing students from losing ground over the summer. By instilling a love of reading and providing access to books, the Pittsfield program is preparing these students for success in school and throughout their lives.”
“It's just like playing baseball or soccer. They just need to practice to become better readers,” Ruebush added. “We want them to want to read and practice reading with their families.”
The Literacy Hero Awards will be presented on Wednesday, January 13th, at 12 noon during a meeting of the Pittsfield Rotary Club at the Pittsfield Community Center.
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