By Mandi Enger
Education majors at Nevada State College (NSC) had a unique opportunity this summer to join forces with the Andson Foundation to participate
in the Rockstar Readers Summer Literacy Program as tutors. An initiative developed by the Andson Foundation, the program is aimed to continue the literacy development of elementary students on summer break while also encouraging a love for reading at an early age.
Six students from the NSC School of Education were selected to participate during the eight-week program held at Harris Elementary School and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Henderson. Approximately 150 kids have attended the program to-date.
The literacy program is a great way for our students to be involved with the community while also developing their instructional skills, said Anthony Morrone, associate director of financial aid and student employment at NSC. We’re honored that the Andson Foundation invited our students to participate.
Students were hired through NSC’s student employment program, making use of Federal Work Study funding to foster community service job opportunities. Nevada State College is the first institute in the state to participate in the tutoring program in partnership with the Andson Foundation.
Held four-days a week at the various locations, the 90-minute program sessions allow the education majors to interact with students during reading, technology, and arts and crafts projects. Organized into three 30-minute segments, each class opens with the tutors reading to the students, followed by computer reading on netbooks or desktop computers, and arts and crafts that relate with the readings.
I feel I have learned so much in the last few weeks, being a part of this amazing program, said Kirsten Simmons, a tutor and secondary education major at NSC. I see how struggling with reading trickles into everything else students are required to do. The summer literacy program has a smaller student-to-teacher ratio and has allowed us to give students who need extra help that one-on-one time. Simmons looks forward to teaching middle school English after graduating from NSC.
“It’s amazing to see the tutors interact with the elementary students. From reading to even acting out the stories in full costume, the program is truly making a difference for our local children, said Andson Foundation Program Developer Anthony McTaggart. We are so pleased to have partnered with NSC to benefit the kids in the community and are looking forward to making this an annual program in partnership with the college.
NSC and the Andson Foundation will continue to offer tutoring assistance to local students this fall through a homework help afterschool program held at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Henderson.