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Local summer reading program to boost K-2 student literacy needs volunteers

A summer reading program for K-2 students in Park City needs volunteers.
A summer reading program for K-2 students in Park City needs volunteers.

Teachers are working with the Park City School District to host a free summer reading program for elementary students. The program needs volunteers.

Kara Cook, a first grade teacher at McPolin Elementary, has helped run a summer reading program for young students for six years. The program was started after teachers noticed kids had lost reading skills over summer breaks, especially kindergarteners and first graders.

“If we look back at data over the last 10 years, we can see that's something that is really typical, that happens year after year,” Cook said. “So we're trying to do anything we can to prevent that and get kids ready to go day one come fall.”

This year the program is partnering with the Park City School District and integrating into the summer school at Treasure Mountain Junior High. The program will run June 18 to July 23, but still needs volunteers.

Volunteers will tutor K-2 students 1-on-1 in 30-minute time slots. Cook said each child will have an individualized reading plan.

In addition, all materials are provided at no cost to parents and a teacher will always be present to answer any questions. Cook said volunteers don’t need prior experience and can sign up for as many slots as they like. There are 60 volunteer slots to fill, but more volunteers means more kids can get help, she said.

“The more volunteers we get, the more grades we're able to include. So there's really no limit,” Cook said. “There's always kiddos that could benefit.”

She said the program also needs Spanish-speaking volunteers to help students whose native language is Spanish retain native language and literacy skills.

The summer reading program at Treasure Mountain will operate Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Sign up to be a volunteer here.