U of L grad students help at-risk youth with reading - WDRB 41 Louisville News

U of L grad students help at-risk youth with reading

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- They may have questionable futures, but some at-risk youth are getting a boost in life. 

It's part of a unique partnership between the University of Louisville and a school in one of the city's poorest neighborhoods.

Reading out loud has not always come easily for Amber Dunaway. In fact, it's downright scary.

"It scares me to read out loud because I am not used to it," said Amber Dunaway, a student.

But this summer she is overcoming her fears and working on her reading with graduate students from the University of Louisville.

"[It] helps me a lot because, like, my reading level was low and now it's getting higher," said Amber.

Amber is one of nearly 100 at-risk youth who are part of a summer reading program at J. B. Atkinson Academy in Portland.

"What we're trying to do is mitigate summer reading loss that occurs in many kids -- especially kids from high poverty areas," said Dr. Christine Sherretz, program director and Assistant Education Professor at U of L.

Dr. Sherretz says the goal is to bridge the gap created between these students and their peers during the summer break. 

She says,"Generally, most kids in high poverty...they lose about three months of reading instruction so what we're trying to do is to mitigate that so that they don't lose any of that...as a matter of fact, we're trying to boost them forward."

Sure, there's a little recreation, but there's still more work than play.  And in addition to reading, students are working on the computer and even blogging.

Amber Dunaway still struggles from time to time, but her confidence level is getting exactly what it needs from the program: a big boost.

Amber says, "So, when I read out loud, I usually don't stutter anymore."

This is all part of a $40,000 grant from The Kentucky Council on Post secondary Education.

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