Sep 10, 2012 10:12 PM by Nikki Ibarra

Santa Maria High School awarded check for literacy program

Santa Maria High School was given a big check Monday to help improve student literacy.

United Way and PG&E handed over a $7,500 check which will go to the school's "Power Reading" program.

KSBY visited a freshman class Monday, where the majority of students read at a fourth grade level.

"Getting all the students to grade level is my priority," said teacher Auni Baldwin.

By the end of the school semester, Baldwin expects her students to move up a reading level. "It absolutely is the glue that holds it all together," added Baldwin.

In fact, last year, a freshman started off reading at a second grade level. By the end of the semester, he was reading and comprehending like an 11th grader.

"We're very happy to have this tool in our tool belt to help our students," said assistant principal, Paul Robinson.

Robinson said if the school didn't receive the check, there would be no money to fund this intervention program.

"All core subject areas incorporate reading. Whether it's math, science, history. They all require students to be able to read at grade level," added Robinson.

About 150 Santa Maria High School students are in "Power Reading" this semester.

Robinson said students are placed in the program based on teacher recommendations and test scores.


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