Bridger Elementary students lined up on the blacktop Wednesday afternoon to form the word “read,” viewable from a KSL helicopter. The helicopter and KSL anchor Nadine Wimmer were there celebrating the success of a new reading program, STAR Reading Tutors, that was being tested at Bridger. For two days per week during the past six weeks, 28 community volunteers came to Bridger Elementary at 7:30 a.m. to help students one-on-one with reading before school hours. Bridger Elementary Principal David Long said, “We saw significant gains in the six weeks that we ran this. We’re hoping to do two longer sessions next year, track that and see if we do any better.” Bridger students involved in the six-week trial program increased their reading speed by an average of 11 words per minute, which is double the expected average. Bridger, along with River Dale Elementary and Taylor Canyon Elementary in Ogden, was chosen by KSL and AmeriCorp to participate in the reading program’s pilot. Next year, as many as 50 schools throughout Utah will also participate in the program. – firstname.lastname@example.org
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