The program was developed in response to the sobering statistics found in 2010 (most recent data available) national and state assessments of reading scores in Hamilton County schools. The county scored a grade of C in Academic Achievement for reading and a D in the new standards of the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS) evaluation. Only 35.9% of Hamilton County students in the 3rd through 8th grade scored “proficient” in reading on the state’s academic report card.
"Literacy is the gateway to academic success. The Bookworm Club program, an early intervention program, will work with girls to make the written word jump off the page and into their imaginations,” Bea Lurie, Girls Inc. of Chattanooga's President & CEO said. “The goal is to turn Girls Inc. girls into bookworms who treasure reading so it becomes the foundation for success in their schooling and life.”
In its first year, the program will meet two days a week at each school. Girls will also receive homework help and participate in early preparation exercises for TCAP testing.
Rick Smith, Superintendent of the Hamilton County School System, said, “We value our long standing partnership with Girls Inc. of Chattanooga and the impact of their afterschool and in-school programs. The Bookworm Club is an important new program for our students.”
“We are proud to partner with Girls Inc. of Chattanooga on this innovative program to instill a love of reading for students during a key time in their development,” said Keith Stevens, General Manager of Amazon’s Chattanooga Fulfillment Center.
The Chattanooga Public Library is also an important program partner that will provide engaging programs during several planned visits to the downtown location. All of the girls will get library cards at either the Chattanooga or East Ridge libraries.
Click here to watch a Times Free Press video from our recent press conference about the Bookworm Club.