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Reading is "Fun"-damental for students in the Book Nook program

Students are improving their literacy skills with the help of the Book Nook tablets and with the assistance of volunteers

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A digital reading platform is helping children in the Mid-South read proficiently. 

These kids are excited about reading. They are kindergarten through 5th graders, participating in Emmanuel Center's after-school book nook program - children like Little Miss Mathews.

"I like it because it helps you with your curriculum and your phonics," said student Mackenzia Mathews.

The program is being offered through local churches. It was started as a partnership between Methodist Le Bonheur, Urban Child Institute, Book Nook, and Literacy 901.

"This has been a family ministry and just to see the different lives that's been changed through education," commented Emmanuel Center Education Coordinator Charon Hubbard. "Kids just love to come because it's a fun and exciting program."

More importantly, organizers say . Facilitators read with the children and then ask them questions about what they've just read.

"It makes them real comfortable with whatever level they're on," said Hubbard.

So far, the program has served almost a thousand Memphis students. Of the students who participated in the reading program during the 2019 summer break, ninety-five (95%) percent either maintained or improved their reading level. So, why would a hospital get involved with literacy?

"If you have difficulty reading then you might have difficulty in reading your prescription - even understanding what your doctor wants you to do," said Methodist Le Bonheur's Rev. Dr. Stacy Smith.

And besides the program improving literacy, the children say it's just downright fun!

"It has helped me with all of my words," said Mathews.

Learn more about Book Nook HERE.

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