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Aumsville Reading Program is here!

Print original Published in the Statesman Journal 04/21/2013

Reading can make a difference

Written by Lora Hofmann statesmanjournal.com

Published April 21, 2013 

The city of Aumsville has begun planning for its Summer Reading Camp Program, which will run every Monday for 10 weeks during the summer.  In addition to having crafts and games, the children will be read to and receive a free book each week.  Last summer, the program ended with a “Reading Rewards Festival” for all of the 178 children that participated.

Aumsville does not have a Boys & Girls Club or anything similar, and while they “dream and vision,” volunteers are raising funds and donating hours to provide educational and recreational activities for the hundreds of children and youth in Aumsville.  City administrators are working now with local schools and Marion County Community Services Department to provide an after-school program that provides free classes for parents (such as “How to Talk So Your Child Will Listen and How to Listen So Your Child Will Talk”) and tutoring and reading time for students.

The program will culminate with an Aumsville night at A.C. Gilbert’s DiscoveryVillage in Salem and a trip for older students to the Evergreen Aviation and SpaceMuseum in McMinnville.

 The city of Aumsville believes that reading is important because:

• If kids don’t learn to read and read well, they struggle in life. The Coalition for Juvenile Justice in 2001 reported that 82 percent of prison inmates were high school dropouts and a high proportion of them could not read. Further, more than one-third of all juvenile offenders read below the fourth grade level.  About one-third of all first-year college students took a remedial course in reading or math in 2007-08. Students taking remedial reading classes in college had only a 17 percent chance of graduating, according to a 2004 study.

• Kids who cannot read become adults who cannot read. Among adults at the lowest level of literacy proficiency, 43 percent live in poverty. Among adults with strong literacy skills, only 4 percent live in poverty. If the male graduation rate were increased by only 5 percent, the nation would see an annual savings of $4.9 billion in crime-related costs. The average annual income for a high school dropout in 2005 was $17,299, compared to $26,933 for a high school graduate, a difference of $9,634.

• Reading makes a difference. Children who grow up in homes where books are plentiful go further in school than those who don’t. Children with low-education families can do as well as children with high-education families if they have access to books at home. When children are provided with 10 to 20 self-selected children’s books at the end of the regular school year, as many as 50 percent not only maintain their skills but also make reading gains.

Aumsville’s summer program will provide 10 free books if children attend every week and will provide six more free books through Marion County Reading for All Initiative. If a child reads as much as a million words per year, they will score in top 2 Reading can make a difference percent of all children on standardized reading tests. If a child reads as little as 8,000 words per year, they will score in bottom 2 percent of all children on standardized reading tests.

To donate, or support Aumsville’s Summer Reading Program, contact Lora Hofmann at (503) 749-2030 or lora@aumsville.us.  Lora Hofmann is an administrative assistant with the city of Aumsville.