Grasslands Elementary School in Los Banos partnered with the  Boys and Girls Club of Merced County and the Learn to Read organization to provide a summer reading program to 100 students.

Online lessons were conducted Monday through Friday and included a reading coach/teacher to work with each individual student.

The online Summer Reading Program combined self-paced video lessons with live coaching sessions for individual student attention and encouragement. Reading lessons were designed for students entering kindergarten through the fifth grade.

“The building blocks of a successful workforce begins with the ability to read and understand,” said See Lee, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Merced County. “We’re willing to do whatever it takes to ensure every child can read by partnering with organizations like Learn to Read.

“I also want to acknowledge Sutter Health Foundation,” Lee added, “for providing funding for the Summer Reading Program.”

Dr. Mark Marshall, Superintendent of the Los Banos Unified School District, was pleased to work with the Boys & Girls Club. “We are excited about this unique partnership,” Marshall said, “and the opportunity to host this great program.”

Margarita (Maggie) Ordunez, Principal at Grasslands Elementary School, provided the on-campus operational support for a safe student environment.

The program works  in this way. After a student has completed an assigned lesson, a reading coach reviews the student’s work and notations, addresses any issues in the student’s command of the reading skills and reviews the next lesson.

“Students are taught a strategy in reading and comprehension, plus the reading coaches are there to check on each student’s progress and provide encouragement,” said Vivian Mendoza, co-founder of Learn to Read. “Students are excited and motivated when they manage their own learning progress and have a chance to show off their newly acquired reading skills.”

The Learn to Read program provides an evidence-based reading curriculum specific for teaching explicit reading skills to elementary school students.

The program, aligned with the Science of Reading principles, features recorded reading lessons that build a foundation in reading skills and comprehension. Each student receives an initial assessment followed by a custom reading lesson plan. 

Each reading lesson video is 12-15 minutes long and delivers the lesson content for each page in the student workbook.  A key aspect is the reading coach, who brings the personal connection of a tutor-type relationship to the student.

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The Boys and Girls Club of Merced County is a countywide community-based youth organization in Merced County and a member of one the largest and most impactful youth organization in the nation, Boys and Girls Club of America.

The club serves youth, their families and communities through evidence-based youth development programs. It is a non-profit organization working hard to fill in the gaps for local youth.

The Boys and Girls Club has a goal that every child graduates high school ready for opportunities in the workforce, a vocational trade, post-secondary education and/or the military.