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New program bridges literacy gap for students in Valdosta

Boys & Girls Club of Valdosta joins forces with VSU grad students for reading program
Posted at 1:39 PM, Feb 03, 2022

VALDOSTA, Ga. — A new program in South Georgia is helping students who have fallen behind their peers when it comes to literacy.

The Valdosta-Lowndes literacy project was made possible by the Scottish Rite Foundation. It’s an opportunity for students who attend the Boys and Girls Club of Valdosta to gain confidence in their reading ability and for Valdosta State University grad students to get real world experience.

“It’s completely different from the classroom,” said Casey Weredyk, who is a VSU grad student pursuing her masters degree in Speech language pathology. “You read your textbook about these cases. You take quizzes and test but when the child is actually sitting in front of you, you have to be very flexible. You have to follow their lead so it’s a different ball game.”

The program servers 1000 kids every Monday through Friday. Any child who attends the Boys and Girls club of Valdosta is eligible for this service.

“We believe like many that every child has the potential to just be incredible,” said Kristin Wooley Hanna who is the VP of Marketing & Development for the Boys & Girls Club of Valdosta. “So when we see them start to believe that in themselves because they see their scores improving, it’s life changing.”