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Tuesday, June 25
The Indiana Daily Student


MCCSC given $27,500 for literacy program

Duke Energy has recently given the Foundation of Monroe County Community Schools $27,500 to fund the Real Men Read program for the next two school years in the Monroe County Community School Corporation.

The program is an early childhood literacy program that works with children in kindergarten. The program will pair a male mentor with each kindergarten classroom in MCCSC.

Mentors will be in the same classrooms once a month for five months starting in the fall.

The different months will probably be spread throughout the school year, said Cyrilla Helm, executive director of FMCCS.

The mentors will read a book with the children and then discuss it with them. Each child will also receive a copy of the book to take home.

Helm said there has been a large push in MCCSC for early childhood literacy. She said it is important to make sure children are reading at grade level by third grade.

After third grade, they stop learning to read and start reading to learn, Helm said. If they don’t know how to read, students won’t do well in other subjects, such as math or science.

Helm said the purpose of the program is to bring a male role model to classrooms so the students can see that adults value education.

“It’s bringing the community into the schools,” Helm said.

The book the children receive to take home will help build their home libraries and encourage them to read outside of school, Helm said.

The children will talk about the book with the mentors, and Helm said he hopes the children might be able to participate in the same activity with their parents or siblings at home.

Helm said the program is looking for men who have a passion for reading and who like children.

The program can help students see that reading aids in learning and in getting better jobs.

Any man who is interested can become a mentor, though he must pass a background check.

Duke Energy South Central Indiana District Manager Bruce Calloway said the books not only help the children to gain literacy skills, but they also contain life lessons, such as good nutrition and financial management.

Calloway said the program gives the students a positive male role model — something some of them might not have in their lives.

Calloway also participated in the program as a mentor at North Lawrence Community Schools in Bedford, Ind., and he said the students would give him hugs and looked forward to having him in the classroom.

“It was very, very rewarding,” Calloway said. “We’re very excited about the potential of this. It’s just another way to support education.”

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