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Reading Program, "Success Makers," Contribute To Student Advancement

May 25, 2011

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That's the sound of a volunteer mentor spent hours outside of class with Tavares, a J.H. Hines Elementary School student who wasn't reading up to grade level when the year began. Tavares was one of a number of students selected for special after-school tutoring where he received one-on-one attention throughout the year. The reading program was presented by the Greater Waco Education Alliance; J.H. Hines formed their own "Success Maker" program to give similar focus to other subjects like science and math. They tested these programs in a new environment: housed in a new building, they housed the combined student bodies of two underperforming schools from last year, J.H. Hines and Doris Miller. Dozens of other students participated, and their progress was tracked diligently throughout the year by J.H. Hines administrators, like Instructional Specialist Lily Oubre.

They tracked their improvements internally by pouring over the data; they helped students track their own improvements by showing them the numbers too, and motivating them with prizes and recognition in class when they moved up.

On paper and intangibly, Oubre said J.H. Hines is seeing a marked improvement from students in the reading and Success Maker programs. And while the first TAKS testing of 5th graders fell one student short of acceptable, Oubre is confident they'll get good news from the re-testing and when the overall scores come in. That 68 percent number after the first testing this year is actually higher than their numbers after the second testing last year.

So as the year winds down, Oubre is confident that interactions like these will continue in the J.H. Hines library after school next year, and armed with data that shows each student that they are indeed improving, she believes there will be a more confident, competent, and eager to learn student body in the future. You can hear our yesterday's story in this two-part look at these programs online at kwbu.org and this Friday at 12:30 and Sunday at 3 on KWBU Rewind. We'll also visit with J.H. Hines principal Archie Hatten on this week's Rewind, looking at preparations for the end of the school year. For KWBU News, I'm Derek Smith.

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