Mom Pays it Forward to Reading is Power


When the last school bell rings this Friday most students and faculty will shed their school bags and books and don their sunscreen and shorts.

But, some will also attend the summer ‘Reading Is Power’ program.

A non-profit program that focuses on phonics, reading and comprehension.

This is a program that Gwen Thomas said changed her son’s education at Booker T. Washington, formerly known as Washington Jackson Elementary.

“He was below average in reading.  We did not pass the first task test at Washington Jackson but because of the Saturday school and the reading is power and the tutorials we got from Washington Jackson he is above average in reading,” said Thomas.

Above average to the point that Gwen says he received an award from the schools parent teacher association.

“Every time I see him now has a book.  I mean he has a cell phone but he has a book more than his cell phone and I’m so proud of that,” Thomas said.

It’s a new passion that prompted Gwen to pay it forward to the program to help other kids.

“We have a lot of great instructors, some of our retired teachers, active teachers come in and help.  And just to see the kids blossom in and participate and interacting in the end is awesome,” Hale said.

Desi says he plans on taking the money given today and helping fund a field trip for the students.

“This year our plan is to take the kids to Langston University so that they get that exposure to the university environment,” Hale said.

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