Literacy Lab earns Boys & Girls Club Community Award 

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Literacy Lab

A tutoring program that matches UW-Stevens Point reading students with local youth was recognized by the Boys & Girls Club of Portage County. The UWSP Literacy Lab at Jefferson Elementary was presented the 2023 Community Partnership Award during the BGC Awards Night on Feb. 27 in the Dreyfus University Center Laird Room. [Literacy Lab Photos]

UWSP Literacy Lab is run through the School of Education with students in EDUC 309 – Methods/Materials for Teaching Reading II. University students are matched with nearly 30 elementary students under the direction of Prof. Polly Manske. Children are assessed on their varying reading skills by the university students, who then create lessons based on specific needs.

During the Literacy Lab at Jefferson Elementary, UWSP students hold 30-minute tutoring sessions with students in grades 1-6 after school for 10 weeks. The Boys & Girls Club runs an after-school program at Jefferson, so the vast majority of the students being tutored attend Boys & Girls Club before/after Literacy Lab. Washington Elementary is also a host site for the UWSP Literacy Lab in the Stevens Point Area Public School District.

Pictured: Chris West (director of Jefferson Elementary Center – Boys & Girls Club of Portage County), Molly Demrow (principal – Jefferson Elementary), Polly Manske (professor – School of Education) and Angela Voss (director of Grants & Program Development – Boys & Girls Club of Portage County)

The Community Partnership Award is given to another group or organization that has gone above and beyond in helping the Boys & Girls Club achieve its mission “to inspire and empower our youth to realize their full potential.” The Club focuses on five key elements of positive youth development, including: 

  • creating a safe, positive environment
  • generating fun and fostering a sense of belonging
  • encouraging supportive relationships with peers and adults
  • providing opportunities and setting expectations
  • offering recognition

These elements align well with the UW-Stevens Point School of Education professional dispositions of teacher candidates, providing a valuable opportunity for UWSP students to put into practice all they are learning about the teaching profession. 

“With the partnership between UWSP, Jefferson Elementary School, and the Boys & Girls Club, we have created a unique program that supports the academic success of our elementary and college students!” said Chris West, director of the Boys & Girls Club of Portage County Jefferson Elementary Center.