Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Success is Sweet

(A wonderful letter on the Navajo Mentoring Program)

Dear David,

Success is sweet!

The reading mentor program has been a great success. I know it has effected everyone who has been reading and mentoring. This program has such a huge scope it is hard to explain it to people in just a few minutes. Each day we respond to different needs. Whether it be adding summer reading programs or How to Get into College pages. It works because we do more than just give a student a book. The program supports the students while they read. It teaches students how to read great literature. It provides real world incentives. But, most of all, it gives students the courage to have hope. The mentors encourage students to have the courage to succeed.

Our mentors are not the typical stereotypes of rich college kids. They come from all places and economic backgrounds. They relate to our students and provide examples of success. This program is real people responding to the desperate needs of real students.

There are countless numbers of reading programs offered to schools. Many have been tried at our school. The mentoring program started because I asked you for help. A book sitting on shelf does not give a student the desire or motivation to read. Mentors who give students hope bridge the gap and help students become readers by their human interactions.

How do we know this program works? We know the Reading Wiki works because after just six months many students who have never even cracked a book on their own are now logging into the site and corresponding about the books they are reading on their vacation time without being rewarded or graded. This means that students choose to read and are using their own time to explore books on their own. It means that the students choose to read over any other activity--movies, sports, TV, hanging out.

The Reading Wiki and mentoring program was developed to create students who like to read.

We have succeeded.

Carla Clauschee
Navajo Pine High School
Navajo, NM

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