Thanks to a grant from the Fort Mill Rotary Club, students in the Fort Mill School District Lunch and Learn program each took home a bag filled with books.
Students chose 15 books at their reading level during a Rotary meeting, where tables were filled with books to choose from.
“The most important thing is they maintain their reading level during the summer,” said Casey Czapla, Lunch and Learn program leader. “We don’t want that ‘summer slide’ to happen.”
Summer reading loss, or “summer slide,” can happen when students have limited access to books, such as summertime when students aren’t in school. Summer slide can cause students to fall between one and four reading levels behind other students. The club’s grant helps combat that.
“Ensuring students’ academic success is important to us as a club, as well as to me personally, and we were excited for the opportunity to provide these books to students,” said Michele Branning, club president.
The summer Lunch and Learn program is a four-week program that provides low income, at-risk students with breakfast and lunch, a backpack filled with nutritional foods to take home each week, and educational programs. Last summer, 98 percent of students in the Lunch and Learn program maintained their reading level. The majority of students increased their reading levels by one to two levels.
The Fort Mill Rotary Club handed out more than $68,000 in grants this year, including the Lunch and Learn program, requested by the Foundation for Fort Mill Schools for the Fort Mill School District.