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Elementary teacher's 'Reading Like a Rockstar' program helps students develop a passion for reading

WRTV visited the Brookview Elementary School classroom to read to the kids.
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Posted at 9:50 PM, Mar 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-08 21:50:32-05

Indiana has a statewide goal by the year 2027 to get 95% of third graders to be able to read proficiently. Governor Eric Holcomb says the future of our state depends on it.

Indiana's literacy rates have been declining for a decade well before the pandemic.

Data from the Indiana Department of Education shows since 2012, the number of students who are not able to read at the end of third grade has more than doubled.

WRTV recently visited a classroom in Warren Township where a kindergarten teacher is doing her part to help her students develop a passion for reading.

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"It's just a motivation to help them become readers," Laura Nelson said.

Nelson is a kindergarten teacher at Brookview Elementary School. She's been an educator in Indianapolis for 20 years. She says 13 years ago she launched a program called "Reading Like a Rockstar."

"We have pretty big goals every year and 'knock on wood' every year we've met our goal. This year, our goal is to read 2,500 words, as a grade. So it's a little over 100 words per student," Nelson said.

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She also invites guests into her classroom to read to the kids.

"Anybody they name, I send an email to Beyonce, Taylor Swift, TV stations, lawyers, doctors, we send them to everyone," Nelson said.

Recently, WRTV's Nicole Griffin visited Nelson's class to read to kids during Dr. Seuss week.

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"It's really hard to learn how to read and we're expecting them to learn how to read in kindergarten now," Nelson said.

Which is why Nelson says it's so important to help her students learn to read before they leave her classroom and move on to first grade.

"It can be a lot of fun. It can be their getaway," she said. "It can take them anywhere they want to go," Nelson said.

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This year's goal is to read 5,000 books by the end of the year. Right now, her students are at around 2,800 books.

Nelson invites the community to reach out to her to visit her class for the Reading Like a Rockstar program.

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