Reading Intervention Program & the Boys & Girls Club of Bluffton Literacy Center of Excellence
The Boys & Girls Club of Bluffton is excited to announce the opening of our new Literacy Center of Excellence, a 2,700 square foot expansion of our building and new site of our Club’s reading intervention program!
Literacy Center Ribbon Cutting | Thursday, May 9, 2019
In January of 2014 the Boys & Girls Club of Bluffton launched a comprehensive reading intervention program. Since then Club staff members have seen direct improvements in participants' reading skills, focus, motivation and self-esteem.
There was just one problem: Space.
The Boys & Girls Club of Bluffton lacked adequate space to expand the program to meet the literacy needs of all its members. To solve this problem the Boys & Girls Club of Bluffton launched a Literacy Center of Excellence & Capital Improvement Campaign in August 2017 with a goal to raise $585,000.
With incredible and enthusiastic support from the Bluffton community, and a $75,000 grant from the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, the Boys & Girls Club of Bluffton raised more than $650,000 in less than one year, and began construction on the 2,700 square foot Literacy Center of Excellence expansion with a goal to open in the spring of 2019.
This expansion will double the number of children served in the reading intervention program. The capital campaign also allowed the Boys & Girls Club of Bluffton to renovate its parking lot to add 50 additional parking spaces, expand its S.T.E.M. program into the former reading program space and soon will bring approximately 100 additional members into the Club, which holds a waiting list of over 200 families ready to enroll when space becomes available.
A special ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the new Literacy Center of Excellence was held at the Boys & Girls Club of Bluffton on Thursday, May 9 at 11:00 AM.
Literacy Center of Excellence at the Boys & Girls Club of Bluffton
Reading Intervention Program
Children who aren’t reading on grade level by third grade are more likely to never graduate high school. The Boys & Girls Club of Bluffton wants to ensure that children in our community are prepared for graduation and beyond with a strong foundation in reading and literacy.
Bluffton, South Carolina’s population of almost 19,000 people is growing daily. Many local school-age children and teens lag behind other communities in major academic areas, for example:
• Of the Bluffton Club’s 6-10 year-old daily attendees, more than 170 are below grade level readers, and many are two grades below based on MAP scores
• 66.7% of 3rd graders test below State Standards in reading and 42% test below State Standards in math
• 51.2% of 8th graders test below State Standards in reading and 67.9% test below State Standards in math
Studies indicate third-graders who read at grade level have a far better chance of not only graduating from high school but also becoming caring and responsible citizens. It has been said that reading is the holy grail of education, that you “learn to read” up to the third grade, and then “read to learn” from that point forward.
For these reasons we launched a comprehensive reading intervention program, led by a certified literacy instructor in January 2014, and it has continued to grow and mature since then. For the past five years, our Reading Program experience has convinced us that after school reading intervention, as a supplement to the school District’s dedicated focus on literacy education, is a must for our Bluffton members who are reading below grade level.
Today, this well-established program is comprised of a “traditional component” and a “digital component,” (Lexia) providing the flexibility to tailor our offering to our young members’ needs. Both approaches are research-based and proven effective interventions. The program takes place from 3:00 - 6:00 PM, four days per week, Monday through Thursday. Three distinct groups meet from 3:00 - 4:00 PM, 4:00 - 5:00 PM and 5:00 - 6:00 PM. Each of these groups is further sub-divided into either the Traditional or Lexia program. Traditional is the “analog” version focusing on close interaction with our youngest members using books and manual props. Lexia is a digital program for slightly older members who interact directly with laptops using Lexia self-paced software.
In our most recent program year, 54 members were enrolled in both programs, and 47 members completed the program. In the traditional program, 77% of students’ scores improved on the San Diego pre-/post-test, and 66% of students improved their reading MAP test scores. Among students in the Lexia program, 50% improved between the San Diego pre- and post-tests, and 83% improved reading MAP scores. Students who improved the most attended the program at least 80% of the time.