During the 2001-2002 school year, a cooperative agreement between Alee Academy and Spring Creek Elementary School was renewed and a relationship with Umatilla Elementary School was formed providing Reading Readiness
Programs at each school. Through the reading readiness programs, Alee Academy provided high school students as mentors for groups of elementary students at both Spring Creek and Umatilla Elementary Schools.
The high school mentors visited Spring Creek Elementary School on Wednesday and Umatilla Elementary School on Tuesday and Thursday. During each visit, the high school mentors were partnered with a pair of elementary students. A strong bond was formed between the mentor and his/her students. This bond became the catalyst that assured the mentor and the student were committed to the reading program and put their heart and mind into the program. As the year progressed, each student (high school and elementary alike) anxiously awaited the quality time together.
The sponsoring staff (Mrs. Custer) began to notice an enthusiasm for the written word as well as an increase in their reading skills. The Alee Academy mentors showed a 2.3 grade level improvement in their reading skills. (These results are based in the SDRT pre and post-test.)
This reading program has been very beneficial for both groups of students. Because of the improvements noted for this year of the reading program, Alee Academy, Spring Creek Elementary, and Umatilla Elementary have agreed to continue the program in the 2002-2003 school year. Alee Academy now has a similar cooperative agreement with Lake Hills School.