By Wayne Allen
Officials with Portsmouth Elementary are excited about their recent launch of Project MORE (Mentoring in Ohio for Reading Excellence), and the potential it has to enhance the reading abilities of its third graders.
“This is a program to help increase reading levels, fluency and comprehension. The program is designed to work one-on-one with students four days a week for 30 minutes a day. The student works with a mentor,” said Angela Johnson, of the the Project MORE coordinators. “Here at Portsmouth City, we’ve got all kinds of mentors; we’ve got some sixth graders who are mentoring, we’ve got school staff and administration such as the district superintendent.”
Johnson said others who are participating in the program as mentors include, aids, secretaries and district teachers RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) volunteers, parents and grandparents, along with members of Portsmouth City Council, and former Portsmouth Mayor David Malone.
Johnson said the program came to the school based on a need.
“We do have a high need for reading instruction here at Portsmouth Elementary for struggling readers. We had heard about this program (Project MORE), observed it at other schools, and decided we wanted to bring it here. This project is valuable not only for reading instruction also for the relationships that are build between the students and the adults,” Johnson said.
Johnson said the program just started its first week, and it has 33 students and 30 mentors.
“We’ve had a lot of positive response so far, the mentors love the program and are excited about it as well as the students. The students can not wait everyday to go to Project MORE,” Johnson said. “We’ve heard comments from the students that they loved that they are learning about reading, they love the work they are doing and how nice the mentors are. We’re really excited about what the program is going to do for Portsmouth City Schools and we anticipate really bid things through this program.”
For more information about Project MORE, call Johnson or Portsmouth Elementary at 740-353-6719.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT