HOUSTON – Teaching kids to read is a critical skill in school and teaching kids to read early helps kids excel in school.
The Houston Carnegie Library is kicking off EARS (Educational Awareness Resource Service) this week, a new program aimed at under-privileged kids but open to all children entering kindergarten or who completed kindergarten this spring.
“We have gotten certified teachers who will be helping us this year,” said Shenia Jones, who explained the program to Houston school board trustees last week. “We are targeting those who might be lagging behind or at risk but we urge all parents to bring their child by and register.”
Jones said kids will be read to, learn words and reading skills, take part in reading games and get a light snack.
“We have partnered with United Way and have a number of retired teachers who have volunteered their time,” said Jones. “The new state requirement that third graders read on a third grade level or they don’t pass is a big hurdle for a lot of kids.
“The buck stops in the third grade,” said Jones. “We want to start these kids reading and have them ready well before the third grade.”
Applications can be picked up at the Houston Carnegie Library during regular business hours.
Lisa Mims, of the Houston Carnegie Library, said the new program is curriculum based and goal oriented.
“We will also make it fun for kids,” said Mims. “If a child is taught that reading is fun at an early age, they become better readers and life-long readers.”
EARS will be held in the Houston Library Reading Room three days a week from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“One of the goals of this program is to keep kindergarteners reading over the summer so they don’t get rusty,” said Mims. “When the show back up for school in the fall, we don’t want them to be behind.”
EARS starts Tuesday, June 3. Registration is necessary to plan for meals and materials.
Summer Reading Program
The Carnegie Library Summer Reading Program has a long history in both Houston and Houlka and the schedule for this year’s program has been announced.
“The theme is year is ‘Whiz, Boom, Read!’” said Mims. “We always have good attendance with our summer reading program and part of the reason is because it is so much fun.”
Mims said this year’s programs are science based and very visual.
Houston will see its summer reading program held each Thursday from 1 to 2 p.m. Houlka will hold theirs from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Programs presenters scheduled are:
• June 5: Natchez Trace EPA.
• June 12: Dr. Bill Burdine, MSU Extension Service.
• June 19: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
• June 26: Graduation ceremonies and watermelon party.
The summer reading program is open to kids grades kindergarten to sixth grade.
For more information call the Houston Carnegie Library at 456-3381.