By Samantha Lyles, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Students at Hartsville’s Thornwell Elementary School for the Arts got a special treat last week when representatives of Duke Energy dropped in for a storytime session and gave kids bookbags they could fill with eight books of their choosing – a gift to keep them reading over the summer.
The visit was part of Duke’s support for the Reading is Fundamental (RIF) Read for Success intervention program, aimed at minimizing the “summer learning slide” that affects many 2nd graders and causes them to enter 3rd grade with diminished literacy skills. The program sends books home with kids over the summer, motivating them to continue reading and keep their comprehension and language abilities sharp.
Tested for two years on 33,000 students across 16 states, the RIF program helped reverse the trend of learning loss and even improved reading proficiency in over half the participants.