Schools in Tehama County, California, are among those whose students are greatly benefitting from the California Masonic Foundation’s partnership with national literacy and family engagement leader Raising A Reader (RAR).
One of these schools is Metteer Elementary School in Red Bluff, one of four Title I schools in the district. More than 79 percent of its students are economically disadvantaged, with 23 percent English language learners and 12 percent students with disabilities.
Masons from Vesper Lodge No. 84 recently gathered together with RAR staff to distribute book bags to students in a kindergarten classroom at Metteer Elementary. A special guest at the event was Vassar – a golden retriever to whom children take turns reading each day.
Kristen Anderson, manager of school age programs, identifies Metteer Elementary as one of her favorite schools to visit. “The day the kids return their red bag, the teacher asks them to pull out the book they like best and find a partner,” she says. “They take turns completing the sentence, ‘I liked this book because…’ It’s a wonderful way to develop critical thinking and summary skills. Plus, you can see the excitement it generates as kids share their favorite parts of the book.”
Cliff Curry, superintendent of Red Bluff Union Elementary School District, explains that after seeing the impact that RAR was having in the district’s kindergarten classrooms, he sought additional funding to expand the program to all first-grade classrooms as part of their strategy to help all children read at grade level by third grade.
“We wholeheartedly endorse Raising A Reader and continue to support it annually, in addition to having made it a part of our Local Control and Accountability Plan,” echoes assistant superintendent Claudia Salvestrin.
Learn more about how California Masons support literacy at masonicfoundation.org.
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