By Bette McFarren / La Junta Tribune-Democrat

Posted Dec 9, 2019 at 12:41 PM Updated Dec 9, 2019 at 12:41 PM

The La Junta Literacy Program, guided by Sylvia Rocha, is now in its second year. On Wednesday the program graduated 13 third and fourth graders who have made excellent progress and are felt to no longer need the program. Other youngsters will be brought in to take their places.

Tutors are always needed for this program. It is simple to administer, because lesson plans are provided for the tutors. The lesson starts with reading a word list at the student’s current level – the lists may be of any length suitable for the child. Difficult words or unknown words are put on 3 X 5 cards to be reviewed the next week, accompanied by instructional suggestions. Each lesson contains a story, questions on the story, and games based on the words and the story. The children are also able to check a book out of the library each week. The tutors teach two one-hour sessions a week.

The results are remarkable. Ninety-six percent of the La Junta students involved showed progress. Thirteen at the third and fourth grade level made so much progress they were graduated from the program.

This program originates with the Children’s Literacy Center in Colorado Springs. Sylvia Rocha is the director of the local program, which is housed at the Intermediate School for third and fourth graders and the Primary School for the first and second graders. The students are nominated by their teachers for their potential to improve.

The mission of the Children’s Literacy Center is “Building a life of success through a foundation of literacy – one child at a time.” All the work is done one on one, so that means the CLC can only handle as many children as they have volunteers. To sign up as a volunteer for next semester, contact Sylvia Rocha at 970-380-6736 or La Junta Literacy graduates 13