“Read 100” program helps students develop love for reading

A newly implemented initiative at Macedonia Middle school is helping students develop a stronger love for reading, and it's helping to improve scores.

We're in Berkeley county for our first Cool School of the week for the new school year.

The day begins with reading at Macedonia Middle School. It's a move to promote a love for reading, They call it “Read 100,” a program implemented to strengthen the reading skills of students across all grade levels. The entire school reads at the same time at the beginning of the school day, 7:15am for 45 minutes. Teachers begin by reading a high interest book aloud to their class. Students are then required to read a novel of their choice silently. Then students and teachers have daily reading conferences. Language arts teacher Paige Deegan says, “It really sets a foundation for literacy throughout the day, and creates excitement about reading. Students will tell us I just finished this book and I can't wait to start another one, it's been a long time since I read one.” This is in addition to daily English Language Arts instruction students receive during the school day. Principal Janie Langley says, “Our day is the longest day of any middle school in Berkeley county, but we utilize that for teachers to carve out that time for teachers to read. That plays a great part of our achievement.”

Students move to different lexile levels, which is a student's reading level on a developmental scale of reading ability as opposed to grade level.  Eighth grade student Stephon Nixon says he reads more now. “Last year I didn't read as much. I was scared that I wasn't going to know words that I didn't know. Now I read books that are over my lexile level. It helps me with words,” says Nixon. School leaders say they are seeing positive results. Assistant principal Amanda Adair says, “It is making a difference. We've seen a growth in our English Language Arts scores. In fact, I want to say it was the 8th grade, they jumped from 2011 to 2013 about 16 percent more students made met or exemplary on PASS test.” Sixth grade student Madison Knight says, “I like Read 100 because I can learn new words get to know a lot of books and it's pretty cool because i actually read.”

Macedonia Middle School's largest fundraiser of the year is the School Carnival. The carnival is held in the spring each year and is not only offered to the students of Macedonia Middle, but their family members and the local community as well. Local business partners donate food, time, and money to Last year, the carnival brought in more than $4-thousand profit for the school. The money raised helps to pay for programs and services such as local community outreach, after school and Saturday school tutoring programs, student/teacher supplies, field trip expenditures.

Coming up Friday on News 2 Today, we'll present the Macedonia Foxes with our Cool School award.

We want to hear about the good things going on at your school. Send an email to Octavia at omitchell@wcbd.com. Maybe your school will be the next Cool School of the week.

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