Rotarians go back to school to help serve educational needs

Published 4:34 pm Tuesday, August 28, 2018

A partnership between Bainbridge Rotary and the Decatur County Schools has resulted in the development of a district grant from the Rotary Foundation. It has been awarded to the local club to help foster reading and comprehension of students from Kindergarten to eighth grade.

Dr. April Aldridge, assistant superintendent of Teaching and Learning and Dr. Deirdre Daughtry, director of K-12 Literacy in the schools, presented a program this week to help Rotarians understand how they are serving educational needs.

The grant money was used to purchase 2538 Level Reader books and texts that are used in classrooms. They help assess the level at which each student is reading, with emphasis on comprehension, grammar, and increasing their vocabulary.

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Once the students read the book there is a series of questions proposed by the teacher to make the students think about what they have read. Some suggested questions were: What did you notice? What was your favorite part? Why do you think the author wrote the book?

To illustrate how it works, sample books at different reading levels were distributed to each table of Rotarians. They were instructed to read the book, then answer some of the proposed questions, just as the students do.

After this exercise, Emily Yent, chair of the foundation grant committee told the club that part of the premise of the grant was a requirement that Rotary members volunteer to read to students in the schools.

She also told that each person must have training in addition to background checks in order to protect the students. After further discussion, it was decided that the school representatives will come back to a future Rotary meeting and train all members in one setting.

Aldridge concluded by saying the teaching of students to be good readers and comprehend what they are reading will make them better future employees in the work force.

From a different angle, Suzanne Reynolds, Director for Economic Development at the Bainbridge office of Southern Regional Technical College, appeared briefly to speak of the Momentum brochures distributed to each member.

She explained some of the customized training being offered in the program targeted at business and industry training, as well as personal enrichment classes once taught through the Continuing Education