Joy of Reading under the Taos Lion’s Club has continued a literacy program that started in April 2017 in the Taos Pueblo Day School reading with 16 students in K through 2nd grade. We presently are reading twice a week to K and First graders at Taos Pueblo Day School, once a week with second graders, and in small groups with 20 Headstart students at Taos Pueblo Headstart for a total 50 students in Taos Pueblo. We added a program at Enos Garcia Elementary in the fall of 2019. Currently, we are reading with 20 second grade students from two classrooms one a week.
This literacy project provides one-on-one reading sessions for 30 minutes per week to students who have been identified as reading below grade level from K through 3rd grade by their teachers. We also give all the children in participating classes a book of their choosing about every three weeks, helping each child develop their own home library, even if the child was not read to by our volunteers.
Volunteers are security screened and trained. During each session, they read one on one to the same student each week for half an hour. The volunteers are not therapeutic teachers, but they do encourage students to develop a love for reading and self confidence in their reading ability. Many students have improved their reading ability with individual reading time and special attention. Both the volunteers and students look forward to their time together.
Research & Statistics
New Mexico presently ranks 50th among states in the US for education.
Statistics from KIDS COUNT show only 22% of 4th graders are meeting or exceeding expectations in English language arts in the 2016-17 school year in Taos County.
A student who cannot read on grade level by 3rd grade is four times less likely to graduate by age 19 than a child who does read proficiently by that time.
Poverty increases lower graduation rates dramatically, and 32% of children are living at or below the poverty level (2015) in Taos County.