Summer Book Club
We are thrilled to announce that our expanded SSEF Summer Book Club enrolled 92 students from Dunwoody Springs and Ison Springs Elementary schools in 2021. SSEF employed teachers to lead the six clubs for six weeks. Students met virtually to discuss the book of the week and participate in related activities.
In 2020, data showed that 91.4% of students who regularly participated in the inaugural Summer Book Club maintained or improved their reading levels, and 85.7% of those students increased their reading scores. We were so excited to welcome so many more students this year and hope for similar results!
Club members were invited to two pizza party celebrations, where SSEF awarded prizes such as books, school supplies and gift cards based on their participation. Tap here to sign up to volunteer.
The Mini Libraries program provides historically underserved students immediate, home-based access to high-quality books that they can read and keep. We place portable, free-standing, newspaper-type dispensaries in strategic location sites at five elementary and two high schools. Volunteers collect donations and fill the dispensaries with nationally recognized, "approved reading" books. Students may take two books at a time to read at home and can either keep or return them to the bin. The program also includes evening school events with parents. At these events, students receive books to take home with them. Mini Libraries distributes about 15,000 books a year. This program serves 4,000 students annually and is funded with in-kind donations.
Our Author Connection program brings authors into schools to speak with students about their work. For example, SSEF has supported visits to elementary schools by author/illustrator Vanessa Brantley-Newton. Her book, "Just Like Me" helps all students see themselves in the story. The students loved the opportunity to hear from her. We appreciate the support from our sponsors and from the community that allows us to facilitate and support literacy programs like this. Tap here to inquire about volunteering.
Reading Buddies provides meaningful relationships with caring adults to help children foster positive feelings about reading. Research shows this type of program can improve motivation, self-confidence and reading skills for children. Orientation, support and training are provided for volunteers and teachers identify students in need of assistance with reading. Once per week, volunteers at Ison Springs Elementary, Lake Forest Elementary and Dunwoody Springs Elementary Schools read to chosen students for 30 minutes during their lunch period. SSEF purchases books suitable for participants. This program serves 53 students at an annual cost per student of $50.00. Learn how you can volunteer for this meaningful program!
Testimonials from Reading Buddies Mentors
Missing your celebration today makes me sad. Being your Reading Buddy this past year makes me happy. Our time together has been very special to me. When we first meet last September, we were both a bit shy with one another. As we spent time together, I watched you grow more comfortable and confident with your reading. I remember the day so visibly when you told me with a great pride in your voice, that you had moved into a new reading group. WOW! I remember also when you shared that you successfully took care of your “egg family” for an entire week! Another WOW! I am confident in your ability as you move into the 3rd grade and beyond. You will conquer each new challenge, including the Milestone Tests, as you continue to grow and learn. Keep reading – all sorts of books. As you said at our last Reading Buddy meeting, reading allows you to learn new things. Keep up the good work. I’ll be silently rooting for you, wherever both of us end up. Thank you.
Carroll Myers, Reading Buddy
I've really enjoyed reading with Kevin this year. He is interested in such a variety of books, both fiction and nonfiction, especially ones about animals. Kevin is doing a great job of sounding out new words and making predictions. He especially enjoyed a book about a boy in the United States writing to his cousin in Mexico, where they compared their lives and hoped to visit each other someday. He could really relate, as he had cousins in Mexico! I'm so glad I got to know such a friendly boy as Kevin.
Fran Kilts, Reading Buddy
I started off this year missing my original buddy who was out sick, so I read with Cristian as a substitute. In the following weeks I read with Yarrell until he moved to NY, and we enjoyed reading together and talking about his possible move. I will say it has been a joy jumping over and reading with Cristian. He has a really good heart and I think he was just more excited about reading with me. Cristian was very good at reading the stories and talking about the pictures and laughing with me about the pictures and story lines. His favorite author is definitely Dr. Suess! My only regret this round is I missed too many weeks due to work, but no matter what Cristian was motivated and happy to read with me during this program. I think he enjoyed reading soo much sometimes he would forget to eat his lunch and I would have to tell him to eat.
Tim Bonenberger, Reading Buddy (SSEF Board Member)
Andrew and I have agreed on a number of items during our time together. One of the most important is our very high regard for the Lamborghini automobile! Andrew and I both want to own one someday. In addition, Andrew has demonstrated two capabilities. The first is the capacity to listen and the other is the capacity to read. It has been a pleasure to meet Andrew and share these hours with hm.
Jim McDonald, Reading Buddy
We loved “Lemonade War”! It was our favorite book. Tyana is a wonderful mathematician and she dazzled me with all of her knowledge. It was nice for me to have a little Buddy who is a girl. We talked a lot about school, friends and Ridgeview Middle School. I know she is going to do great! I enjoyed meeting and working with Tyana very much!
Leann McClendon, Reading Buddy
It has been an amazing honor to spend time with my “Buddy,” Ashley, reading together. Actually when she smiles (which she does often) that is all it takes to make me glad to be with her. I sometimes forget that I am supposed to be encouraging her to enjoy reading, when she is really encouraging me to enjoy life and the time we share reading.
Alice Nelson, Reading Buddy