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Intensive program raises reading levels at Carver

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
May 30, 2002
Carver Middle School students and teachers worked hard this school year to improve the school's reading levels and the community has joined in the effort.
Barnhill's Country Buffet is one of several sources that have offered reading incentives to Carver students. The restaurant gave passes worth $4,200 in free meals to students who read five books or more at their reading level or above this school year.
This year, Carver became the only middle school in Mississippi that is part of a three-year Success for All middle school pilot program to raise reading levels. Markham and the school's SFA facilitator, Maria Yates, say they have seen progress already.
Gloria Dozier, assistant manager at Barnhill's, initiated the incentive program. It is something that was done at a restaurant where she previously worked.
Other businesses, such as Little Caesars Pizza and Burger King have also offered incentives to Carver students. Markham said Mount Olive Baptist Church and First Union Missionary Baptist Church have contributed by donating money to the school to purchase other incentives.
Carver students began each school day with a one-hour reading class this school year. Markham said six to seven minutes of class time was taken from all other classes at school to be used for reading.
Markham hopes the results of extra reading classes will show in improved scores on the Mississippi Curriculum Test given earlier this month. Test results will be released this summer.
The SFA program requires students to be tested on their reading levels every eight weeks.
Markham said parents and the students are also a big part of the improved reading levels.