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Galesburg-Augusta launches new reading program for its youngest students


GALESBURG-AUGUSTA (WKZO) -- It may take a village to raise a child, but you have to catch them early.

That could be the slogan for the acclaimed Verona Project in Battle Creek.

It’s a reading program for the early grades that was piloted at Verona Elementary, and has had spectacular success at getting young children in the habit of reading proficiently.

Now Galesburg-Augusta Schools plans to use that model and a $58-thousand grant from the United Way, with assistance from K-RESA and the Eaton Corporation to help their youngest students learn to read too.

Kindergarteners are assigned adult reading buddies from the community who meet with them weekly through third grade to encourage and monitor their reading. Studies show that if they can read well by 3rd grade, they have the skill-set to learn anything, and they are a lot more likely to graduate high school and become productive citizens.