, Corbin, KY

October 12, 2012

Program seeks to improve reading ability of students

The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — By Becky Killian, Editor

The Laurel County Board of Education heard an update on a program that aims to improve students’ reading ability.

The update came during the board’s meeting on Monday.

After three years of participating in the Elgin program, four percent more, or 56 percent, of the district’s students in kindergarten through third grades are reading at grade level. The improvement was noted in a comparison of tests administered in fall 2011 and 2012.

The program’s goal is to have at least 90 percent of the district’s third graders reading at or above grade-level.

Various factors that impact reading ability in young children, including parental involvement and socio-economic factors, were discussed.

By the sixth year of the program, the district reading improvement efforts should be self-sustaining. The board was encouraged by representatives of the Elgin Board to make the program their own and to call it the “Laurel County Reading Initiative.”

The board also approved the acceptance of $92,105 in assistance from the School Facilities Construction Commission’s Kentucky Educational Technology System. Superintendent Doug Bennett said the funding requires a match from the district — which was budgeted. The money can only be used for technology-related expenditures.

The board agreed to pay $237,201 to the sheriff’s office for the 2012-2013 tax collection fee.

During a special called meeting Wednesday, the board approved hiring head swim coaches and assistant swim team coaches at both North and South Laurel high schools.

Bennett said each school will pay total salaries of $3,200 for the new positions, which will be advertised.