Paducah Rotary prepares students for the next school year

Local 6’s Blake Stevens reports on Paducah Rotary’s attempt to make reading a priority for soon-to-be third-graders this summer.

The Rotary Club of Paducah will complete its Summer Reading Backpack Program tomorrow at Morgan Elementary School. The organization has given out over 800 free backpacks that contain free books, pencils, notepads, and other supplies. 

The group is attempting to make reading a priority for soon-to-be third-graders this summer.

A poverty study by the United Way of Paducah indicated that the first three years of school, a child is learning to read. After those three years, a child reads to learn.

Ann Morrow, a third grade teacher at St. Mary Elementary of 12 years, says students are “playing baseball and swimming all summer and not actually reading.” Morrow adds that she often has to review lessons from the previous year to ensure that her students are prepared for the third grade curriculum.

Second-grader Ellie Sanders was happy with the bags because she says reading is her favorite thing to do. The group hopes that other second graders will get excited about reading too.

Missy Eckenberg tells Local 6 about the Rotary’s motivation behind the program: “Every child usually shows a regression if they’re not reading on a daily basis. This is a reminder, a very positive reminder, to read and write during the summer to keep those literacy rates high.”

The group does not stop with the backpacks. When the second-graders return in the third grade, they will receive student dictionaries. All of this is an attempt to keep students reading, prevent future poverty, and build a stronger future for Paducah and McCracken County.

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