The Cox communications Kids Foundation provided
a grant to the San Marcos Middle School (SMMS) and the Palomar
College GEAR UP program for $10,000. The grant was part of a competitive
process sought by middle schools from around San Diego County.
The SMMS proposal, titled "School-wide Literacy Through Accelerated
Reader", is to support a computerized student self-guided
reading progress program. The software, already installed on school
computers, is called Accelerated Reader.
The funds from Cox Communications will be used to buy books the students will read as they increase their skill levels. With a teacher, Barbara Tolli-son, and the GEAR UP Coordinator, Robin Retana, dedicated to managing the program, all 1500 SMMS students will participate and excel in their reading abilities. Other funds will be used as incentives for reading and motivational prizes for students who excel. Students will receive pencils, t-shirts, bumper stickers, and pizza parties. The GEAR UP program will add to the funding as more students participate and excel...including the costs for a end-of-the-year awards ceremony for students, teachers, and parents.
Calvin One Deer Gavin, Director of the GEAR UP program, said, "reading is important to all students and it is one subject that every person can always improve". Reading has been determined to be a critical factor in high school and college success, since the amount of reading and students' independent decisions about doing reading homework become more important in these years of school. Gavin said, "in middle school, we must teach the students to be independent and responsible for their own reading". The Accelerated Reader program provides students with a reading assessment, informs them which books to read, and tests them on the computer after they read their assigned books.