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Reading program helps High Point students improve literacy

HIGH POINT, N.C. -- For the students at Union Hill Elementary in High Point, reading has never been more fun and rewarding.

"They're helping me understand my books better when I read them and they make me excited when I read them," said Dy'von Barley, a 5th-grade student.

"It gives me a goal and I've already achieved it so I've given myself a goal to read at least 10 books a month and try to pass as many AR tests as I can," said Aruba Manzoor, another 5th-grade student.

They're participating in the Accelerated Reader Program (AR), where students read books and then take online tests which measure comprehension, literacy, vocabulary and more.

Rhonda Moore, a 5th grade English and Language Arts teacher, said AR has made her job easier.

It's definitely added to it because I have more data that's black and white, so I also put it on their progress report, report cards," said Moore." And each quarter they can see how they have grown."

But it wouldn't be as successful if it weren't for a grant from the High Point Community Foundation, which allowed the school to purchase 25 new laptops and a laptop cart.

"The year prior to me getting here, the school had AR and the students received approximately 6000 points for the year," Said Shayla Savage, Union Hill's principal. "With the purchase of the laptops, students have immediate access to take tests, so last school year our students received over 30,000 points."

Some of the grant money from the Community Foundation also went toward incentives to help motivate the students, as they get points based on the books they read and their online test scores.

Some of the incentives they've worked toward in the past include a visit from a video game truck and laser tag.