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John Paulding and Morse Summer Literacy Program Reduces Summer Slide


Rising first grade students used critical thinking skills and sounded out words as teacher Jenne Mazzarella read a story with them over the internet. These children who enrolled in the John Paulding and Morse Summer Literacy Program participated through Google during which teachers conducted a morning meeting with a group of 8 to 14 students and then presented a guided reading lesson. They also spent time in smaller groups with teachers focusing on reading strategies. 

“Studies have shown that students can lose an average of two months of learning during the summer months,” said Program Director and ELA/Math Staff Developer Kristie Martinez. “This year, some of our students need additional support as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. This Summer Literacy Program assists our incoming first, second and third graders to regain their confidence and even learn new skills.”

The children in Ms. Mazzarella’s class read a story called, By Myself, that shows young children how they can spend and enjoy time on their own. Students unfamiliar with some of the words are asked to look at the pictures in the story and recall the sound certain letters make.

As part of the two-week program, each student also received a recorded lesson to supplement the work and the classes culminated with an activity-based project that did not require technology.  The 125 program participants chose a favorite book and created a shoebox, cereal box or poster board to depict the story.

The program concluded on August 28th. The annual initiative is made possible by the Foundation for the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns and through the generous support from Kids’ Club of Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown.