Students in five Beaufort County schools and two Jasper County schools participating in the United Way of the Lowcountry's Early Grade Reading Program saw increases in the reading portion of their Measures of Academic Progress test scores, according to the United Way.
A total of 154 students in St. Helena Elementary, Joseph Shanklin Elementary, Hilton Head Early Childhood Center, Hilton Head School for the Creative Arts, Pritchardville Elementary, Hardeeville Elementary, and Ridgeland Elementary participated in the Early Grade Reading initiative during the past the school year.
Of those, 97 percent of Beaufort County and 98 percent of Jasper County students saw increases in their reading scores by the end of the year on the Measures of Academic Progress. The MAP test is given to students in kindergarten through eighth grade at the start, middle and end of each school year. The test measures reading and math skills.
Launched last year, the program hopes to eventually to have 80 percent of students reading on grade level by fourth grade and to cut the drop-out rate in half within 10 years.