Gov. Brownback praises relief agency in helping school districts

04/25/2013 12:01 PM

04/25/2013 12:02 PM

Gov. Sam Brownback is praising the international relief agency Save the Children for joining with two Kansas school districts to improve elementary-level reading skills.

On Wednesday, Brownback visited after-school programs in Iola and Pittsburg, which have partnered with the relief group best known for its TV campaigns urging Americans to sponsor aid for vulnerable children in developing countries.

Save the Children focuses on combining resources of nonprofit organizations, school districts and the community on educational needs,” Brownback said in a statement released by his office Thursday. “I asked the organization to come to Kansas to help me pursue my Road Map goal of increasing the number of fourth-graders reading at grade level.”

In addition, Brownback thanked GTECH Corp., an information technology vendor to the Kansas Lottery, for providing 20 iPad tablet computers for students in Iola’s reading program.

Angela Henry, director of Iola’s SAFE BASE after-school program, said students targeted for intensive reading instruction on average have advanced about a year in grade level over five months.

SAFE BASE is funded with a combination of district money and private grants. Slightly more than 200 students are in the program, which expects to serve 400 over the course of the year, Henry said.

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