Early reading mastery is the single most important factor in the long term success of students, especially in school districts with high numbers of students and families with limited English proficiency. It is the preeminent goal for young students in the Vista Unified School District (VUSD). The target population for this project is all elementary schools in VUSD (covering Vista, parts of Oceanside and unincorporated areas of North San Diego County). All elementary schools are included because every school in the district has pockets of low income and limited English proficient students, while for some schools this represents the majority of their students. First grade students will be the beneficiaries of this program as ultimate recipients of a book of their own after a classroom reading session conducted by local Rotarians, as well as Interact and Rotaract (Cal State San Marcos) club members.
Developing interest and competence in reading must start at an early age and VUSD enrolls a high proportion of English as a Second language students, as well as students from families living below the poverty level. This necessitates intensive reading intervention programs at early grade levels. This grant allows our club to support these intervention efforts through classroom reading and individual student ownership of books. The grant, taking advantage of discounted availability of books, allows us to serve a minimum of 1,500 students.
Our project will involve local Rotarians, including Interactors and Rotaractors, reading and distributing books to all first graders. For many of these students it is either the first book they have owned themselves or one of very few books in their home. Target dates for project reading and distribution of books are October 2018 through December 2018. We have offered this program for the past several years and because of the success of our previous efforts, the teachers and administrators of VUSD are totally committed to supporting us to ensure project success. The district Superintendent, the President of the Vista Teachers Association, and a second senior administrator in the district are all members of our club and active in project implementation. Our experience in previous years has proven valuable in helping to choose books that are entertaining and motivating for the students.
Attached are pictures and examples of thank you notes from last year's projects. The pictures tell the story as well as any written narrative.