Visiting the state capitol and sharing the story of the Kansas Reading Roadmap afterschool program was an honor that 21 HES students and four adults recently experienced. Herington was among just five schools from across Kansas that were invited to attend the activity designed to advocate for the KRR program.
KRR is a K-3 literacy program with the mission that “Every child will enter fourth grade reading proficiently so they can graduate on time and achieve their full potential.” The program provides individualized instruction and interventions to meet the needs of the students. Herington became a part of this program in 2014.
Herington students are the Railyard Detectives. They wore their white lab coats with the slogan “Developing Community Leader” to the capitol and caught the attention of several people who stopped to ask what they were doing. Students and adults shared with visitors that they are learning to read at or above grade level benchmarks so that they can become leaders and be anything they dream of being.
In addition to helping visitors and lawmakers learn about KRR, students also heard a read-aloud by Tabitha Brotherton, program manager on the KRR leadership team. Ms. Brotherton drew the students into the story with lots of passion as she read, and they learned four vocabulary words. A 30-minute read-aloud session is a part of the Railyard program each evening.
Students also were able to travel through the capitol building and admire the murals, statues, architecture and history. Most of the group went to the top of the capitol building and stepped out on the platform to walk around the top. Visiting the capitol was an experience that these students will remember for many years.
Students and their adult sponsors, Principal Donalyn Biehler, KRR Program Director Cindy Roberts, and KRR Tutors Sam Garrard and Patty Kahle, had a great day and helped teach many people the importance of the KRR program.
Herington Elementary School is in the third year of the Railyard Afterschool Program. This program is funded by a grant award from Kansas Reading Roadmap or KRR.
The KRR model integrates and aligns all of the out-of-school interventions with the school day, and its focus and efforts promote third grade reading proficiency. Reading proficiency in third grade matters because literacy is the foundation of all learning. Failure to master reading is directly associated with poor educational outcomes. According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, children not reading at grade level by the end of third grade are four times less likely to graduate from high school. With the emphasis on literacy, the KRR is focused on helping schools to obtain 100 percent proficiency in third grade. Our program is for kindergarten through third grade students.
Another important aspect of the KRR program is understanding the role of the family, and its responsibility for raising children and promoting positive educational, social, and emotional outcomes. The KRR program has a family engagement piece called LIFE. Through targeted family engagement and empowerment, parents quickly understand the importance of school and community partnerships, the value of being an engaged parent, and how supporting their children's reading at home can make a significant difference in their child's life.
The afterschool program consists of a snack and three 30-minute rotations, including one health and wellness rotation and two academic blocks. Classroom teachers refer students to the program based on strict eligibility requirements, and parents must approve their attendance from 3:35 to 5:05 pm. Afterschool program transportation is provided.
If you are interested in learning more about this exciting literacy afterschool program,
please contact Cindy Roberts, Program Coordinator, at 785-258-3234, Ext. 230
or email at email@example.com.