HOPE – A local initiative to foster more Hope school students reading at grade level and beyond is developing a partnership with the Hope Public Schools’ similar initiative.
An early literacy initiative within the public school system designed to have all HPS students reading at grade level by third grade has been underway since the springs semester.
Part of that initiative has revolved around community volunteers reading to classes in Kindergarten through third grade at Clinton Primary School, and through the development of a Hope Schools Book of the Month, which will begin providing free books to children within the community this summer, according to Superintendent Bobby Hart.
Both of those initiatives are mirrored in an effort by the Women’s Ministry-Star Women of Rising Star Baptist Church in Hope through its Lillie Mae Smith Reading and Resource Center.
Center volunteer Margaret Lister said the program is designed to put books into the hands of children year-round.
The Smith Reading and Resource Center is open Wednesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and is supported by the church and book donors.
Lister said volunteers read to children in group or one-on-one settings at the center, and all books in the center are available for children to take home free to build their own home library.
She said children will also be able to obtain the HPS Book of the Month Club selection for each month at the center, once copies become available.
Volunteers for the program may get in touch with the church resource center at 870-777-5246.