Rotary Readers Book Success at Fredonia

Rotary Readers Book Success at Fredonia
Posted on 05/03/2018
Rotary Readers Book Success at Fredonia

Melinda Wiebold went directly to Rotary Club last month to brag about the group’s literacy efforts at Fredonia Elementary School where she is principal.

You can’t miss Rotary’s impact on students attending Fredonia, Wiebold told club members. “You can tell through the letters from our teachers that you impact the kids, and not only through your reading.”

On Tuesday, club member Jonathan Dunn arrived at Fredonia for his weekly visit shortly after 8 a.m. Upon reaching Michele Mikuszewski’s classroom, Dunn met up with kindergartner Aaron Wells and the two moved on to the cafeteria where NISD student nutrition workers warmly greeted them.

Rotary Club of Nacogdoches has made it a mission to help at Fredonia. For the most part, that means weekly visits by club members to read to students, oftentimes in one-on-one sessions.

But Rotary Club does more, making time to provide treats for teachers and staff, something Wiebold said is always much anticipated at her campus. Rotary members have provided special breakfasts for teachers, something the club will repeat next month on key STAAR testing date.

At Christmas, club members delivered poinsettia plants to all teachers, something Wiebold said was appreciated by staff.

The club’s efforts at the school also include contributing books that are presented to each student, who can then carry the books home. So far, every student at Fredonia has received two books and the club will provide one more at the end of the year, which the students’ teachers will sign before turning it over to the child.

Literacy programs are a key component of Rotary International programs, and during the presentation, Wiebold linked the club’s volunteer efforts to the proven benefits of students getting more reading time.

Studies show students that read 20 minutes a day greatly improve their chances of academic success, including higher passing rates on the standardized test. The work of Rotary at Fredonia helps many of those children get more time with a book, Wiebold said.

“All of you who volunteered made that happen,” Rotary president Gregg Nichols told the club afterward.

During last month’s presentation, Wiebold and Holly Elder, Fredonia’s parent-community liaison, shared testimonials from teachers and students alike about what it means for Rotary members to visit the campus.