"Memphis City Schools Reads" is only in its second year and it has already had quite an impact. "Last year our test scores went up in reading," says Superintendent Dr. Carol Johnson, "a higher percentage of our students did better, we're more proficient an advanced in Reading than the year before." And Dr. Johnson expects the trend to continue thanks in part to MCS Reads. The program is nominated for the National Civic Star Award. The award is given to programs that foster relationships between schools and communities. Dr. Johnson says that relationship is growing here in Memphis "from people like the people at the public library as well as businesses who created incentives and gave prizes and awards to encourage reading."
The MCS Reads campaign has also helped reach parents who might not otherwise participate. "We encourage families to take some of the books that we give students and read to them," says Dr. Johnson, "read to them every night. Give them a chance to turn off the TV and read."
Delano Elementary student Alexis Phillips reads with her parents and it's helped with her school work. "When we have Reading they have a lot of big words in our books now so I read big words in my books so I have an easier way to figure out the words in my Reading books."
Evidence that MCS Reads really doe make a difference.