Education Views - May 2005


Education Views

Keys for Reading Guides Students Toward Success
May 2005
by Barry H. Willen, Executive Director of Sylvan Learning Centers in Eldersburg and Westminster

Congratulations to all the children who participated in the Keys for Reading Program. Friday night, April 22, Carroll County students celebrated their success in participating in the Keys for Reading program. Students from all the elementary schools and many of the middle schools came to Harry S. Grove Stadium through a soggy downpour to parade around the baseball diamond of the Frederick Keys and to watch a free ballgame and fireworks courtesy of a wonderful partnership with the Carroll County Public Schools, the Frederick Keys baseball team, BP Solar, and Sylvan Learning Center. The Frederick Keys are the Class A, Carolina League Affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles.

The student parade has teachers, administrators, and parents from the schools along side them. Each school has a banner touting their school. Why do teachers, administrators, and parents parade with the students? Because these people also deserve the recognition for encouraging these students to read. Without the Principals' and Assistant Principals' support, there would not be a Keys for Reading Program. The teachers guide their students and stay on top of the individual students, so they read the required books. Parents give their children the guidance to read at home. Without any one of these key people, this program could not succeed.

I also want to recognize, Dr. Charles Ecker, Superintendent of Carroll County Public Schools, and the two Assistant Superintendents, Harry Fogle and Stephen Guthrie, for their foresight in joining this partnership last year. They, too, also attended the game Friday night.

Unfortunately, Doppler Radar showed a major thunderstorm heading into the area, and an hour after the game should have begun, the Keys cancelled the game. Students can go back on Tuesday, May 3rd to get recognized for their achievement.

According to Robin Kable, Coordinator of Business and Community Partnerships for the Carroll County Public Schools, more children in Carroll County participate than any other county, except Frederick.

This program grows bigger each year. The Keys for Reading program began in 1997. In 1998, Carroll County schools joined the program. Today more than 110,000 students in 11 counties in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia participate.

On Friday, Carroll County Public School administrators and Sylvan Learning Center attended with the students, parents, teachers, and school administrators. Dr. Ecker would have thrown out the first pitch. The rains forced the Keys to cancel this game and reschedule Carroll County Night for Tuesday, May 3 for a 7:05 game against Winston-Salem. I encourage everyone to go to the game.

For those of us that cannot attend the make-up, we will all be back next year for Carroll County Night at the Frederick Keys celebrating the success of the students, and to thank the teachers, parents, and school administrators for their encouragement and guidance in continuing to make Carroll County Public Schools one of the top school systems in Maryland.

This column is contributed by Barry H. Willen, Executive Director of Sylvan Learning Centers in Eldersburg and Westminster.

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