to do arts and crafts, but also bring popcorn, sodas and ice cream to
This group of students at College View Elementary is part of a 10-week
reading intervention program that started last September. Using funds
from the Academic Performance Index, more than 1,000 books and listening
tapes were purchased to help students of all reading levels.
Every week Salas and her individual group of instructors assess each
student and share their progress with the students' teachers. At the end
of the hourlong session, the students also take home a weekly report with
recommended activities they can do at home.
"We see a significant growth in these kids," said Principal Susie
Kemp, as the students began reading out loud with Salas. "And they're
happy to be here. They feel it's a privilege."
When the group finishes a book, they break off into individual work
groups of six where they work with one instructor.
"Some of the first-grade students come in at a kindergarten reading
level," Salas said. "Based on our assessments, they leave at their grade
A few minutes before the bell rings and it's time to go home,
third-grader Kiana Demers looked up from her drawing.
"My favorite books are rhyming books," she announced.
"I like poem books," fellow group member, Dulce Martinez shyly added.
When asked if she likes to write poetry, Dulce smiles shyly then puts
the final touches back on her drawing before running out with the rest of
* MARY A. CASTILLO is a news assistant with Times Community News. She
can be reached at (714) 965-7177 or by e-mail at o7