Many of our members volunteered to read to very appreciative kids in Hildale.
On March 5th, 16 Assistance League of Southern Utah members drove to Hildale’s Water Canyon School to read to approximately 100 first-fourth grade boys and girls in honor of Read Across America’s annual celebration of Dr. Seuss’ birthday. We were met by students sporting all kinds of crazy hair day styles, in honor of his book Hooray For Hair~styles which included multi-colored painted hair, braids, and pony tails galore – which helped to make for a fun filled morning for both the kids and adults
The setting was cosy, as each reader shared a special Dr. Seuss story with a couple of students, and had time to chat about their interests, and share their love of reading. Some students even wanted to read to our volunteers, proudly showing off their skills. Many students have entered Water Canyon with little or no formal education prior to enrolling in the public school and most have had to work hard to develop their grade academic level skills.
Liz West, Water Canyon’s Reading Interventionist, shared a story of one young man, age approximately 9, who had enrolled earlier this school year, with a reading skill that included just 10 letters of the alphabet, He had worked to not only make up for his lack of academic schooling, but with the help of their amazing specialists, was reading at grade level. He was most proud and wanted to show off his newly acquired knowledge by reading to our volunteer.
Our organization provided a book as a gift for each student. The kids eagerly asked about them, and for some, it was likely the first book they have ever owned. We also donated a number of lovely chapter books for their library and a box full of fun books, handmade bookmarks, and games for their reading incentive program.
Water Canyon is bursting at the seams. The school has about 260 students now and the addition of two portable classroom buildings has helped accommodate the current and new students, which still enroll throughout the year. The faculty and kids loved having us there and are most appreciative of our willingness to come.
Lastly, several of us went to coffee at the local Berry Knoll bakery afterwards, which is located right in Colorado City. They were most appreciative of our patronage and we enjoyed sharing our experiences in helping the students of Water Canyon know the wonders of reading and the beloved Dr. Seuss.