Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Roscoe Reading Program Founder and Chairperson Marietta Hicks sat quietly in the second row as a student and a principal gave an update about the non-profit program that Hicks started.
The update was presented to the Berkeley County School Board at its regularly scheduled meeting in Moncks Corner on Feb. 26.
The Roscoe Reading Program is now in 16 county schools and motivates children to read by rewarding them with ice cream parties once they reach specified “Accelerated Reader” point levels each quarter.
If the students reach their goals teachers must kiss one of the program’s therapy dogs.
Boulder Bluff Elementary and Sedgefield Intermediate became the latest county schools to join the program in 2012. A total of 16 schools participate.
“I think we’re doing a fabulous job on a shoestring budget,” Hicks said. “Last year we did all this for $64,000.”
Last year four schools had 100 percent participation, according to Hicks.
A total of 18,570 books have been given to students through Roscoe Reading during this school year. A total of 4,034 students and 185 teachers are participating.
Since the program began in 2002, nearly 129,000 books have been given to students.
Roscoe Junior Ambassador Catherine Dixon (a Macedonia Middle School 6th-grader) took the podium to eloquently articulate how she assisted Hicks with the parties, even up to four a day.
“Many new and exciting books have been ordered, grabbing students’ attention like pop rocks in a candy store to a two-year-old,” Catherine said.
She also invited each school board member to attend a Roscoe Reading party.
“This program has encouraged my students to be readers,” Westview Elementary School Principal Aimee Fulmer said. “They want to read and they want to experience success. The program is incentive-based, it encourages individual success. It is not in any way punitive.
“All students are able to feel the success. It’s not just a program that awards the academic elite.”
School board member Kent Murray publicly recognized the Roscoe Reading board members Keith Kornahrens, Donna Marino, Bill Salisbury, Chuch Chears, Elaine Norton and Beth Schurlknight.