Teachers across Berks County are finding new ways to keep children engaged in learning by innovating the pre-existing curriculum. Teachers at Mifflin Park Elementary School wanted to help their students who struggle with reading, which may or may not be the result of the student learning English as a second language. By modifying the curriculum with their Stories and Steps Program, teachers were able to make literature more accessible and fun for students who needed extra help.
The Stories and Steps program was created in 2021 to help students get more comfortable with reading and understanding the English language. Students participating in the program were primarily struggling readers, and or in the process of learning the English language. The program had 101 students participate in total. These children walked together while listening to audiobooks of children’s literature.
According to Corinne Brumbach, librarian at Mifflin Park Elementary, and Diane Richards, chief financial officer, students were incredibly responsive to the program. It was reported that 100 percent of the participants wanted to take part in another audiobook club. When asked about the program’s impact on the students, Brumbach and Richards shared quotes from the students.
Has the audiobook helped you? How?
“Yes, I learned new things and I can hear it just like the author wanted it to be heard.”
Do you enjoy listening to audiobooks?
“Yes, I could hear how to say words.”
Because of the program, students developed deeper engagement with the reading material and a stronger interest in reading. In the future, Mifflin Park Elementary hopes to offer the program for the entire school year instead of a portion of the school year.
This project was funded by a mini-grant from the Berks County Association of School Retirees Scholarship and Grant Fund. This fund was created to provide a scholarship to a Berks County senior and mini-grants for classroom projects. To learn more about this fund, visit https://bccf.org/funds/berks-county-association-of-school-retirees-scholarship-and-mini-grant-fund/