A city-funded volunteer program with a great track record of helping struggling elementary school kids learn to read is on the chopping block. Experience Corps, which uses local retirees, has helped hundreds of children who could barely read reach grade level within one school year – showing a 60% higher improvement rate than their peers. The city put up $400,000 this year, but that money ran out in December. “She wasn’t reading to me at all before the tutoring,” said Iesha Lewis, whose daughter Heaven is a first-grader at PS 129 in Harlem, where the average first-grade class has 26 kids. “She would read ‘cat’ and ‘dog,’ only words that are so common,” said Lewis, 22, of the South Bronx. “I was extremely worried. I really didn’t know what was wrong.” Heaven began the program in the fall and her proud mom says she now comes home and reads books almost every day after school. “I couldn’t do any of the quizzes because you had to be able to read the book, and I couldn’t,” said Heaven, 6. “Now I can read the hard books.” A new study by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis looked at 23 schools… Read full this story
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