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Reading Programs for All Grade Levels Emphasize Importance of 21st Century Literacy Skills

Milton Hershey School students have access to reading programs to improve literacy skills.

During National Literacy Month and throughout the year, Milton Hershey School emphasizes the importance literacy plays in the lives of low-income students and their future success. Studies show that students who read frequently tend to have higher vocabulary skills, increased success with spelling, and a deeper understanding of the world around them.

“With each word a child reads, they are gaining knowledge,” said Gail Rickard, MHS Library Media Specialist for Elementary Division. “A child who is literate is going to succeed.”

Through literacy programs designed for each grade level, Milton Hershey School is empowering more than 2,000 students in pre-K through 12th grade to develop a lifelong appreciation for reading that serves them throughout their academic years and time in the workforce.

The school designs reading programs specifically for each grade level.

Elementary student with book

  • The school’s GO RED (Go Read Every Day) program ensures MHS elementary students have access to quality books to help them develop a regular reading routine both during the school year and summer months, which helps to prevent summer learning loss. During annual GO RED events, MHS alumni return to campus to read to elementary students and reconnect with the school that sparked their love for literature.
  • Through experiential learning opportunities outside of the classroom, MHS staff reinforce the concepts elementary students read in their stories. Librarians and teachers often collaborate with the school’s Agricultural and Environmental Education (AEE) program to bring books to life and make real-world connections such as teaching students how to make apple cider after a character in their book ate apples.
  • Milton Hershey School launched a middle school Literacy Leaders program during the 2017-18 school year. MHS eighth-grade students gained leadership experience by designing engaging lessons that help elementary students develop as readers. After selecting age-appropriate text, the eighth-grade students created teaching points, reading strategies, one-on-one lessons, and pre- and post-reading activities to enhance the younger students’ interest.
  • MHS high school students expand on their literacy through a state-of-the-art Learning Resource Center on campus. With electronic databases, wireless access for student laptop computers, a student-run writing center, and community engagement activities such as poetry slams, students have a safe space to express themselves creatively and collaborate with their peers.

Instilling a lifelong appreciation for reading is part of the top-notch education Milton Hershey School provides so students can break the cycle of poverty and go on to lead fulfilling and productive lives.

Elementary student in library

Milton Hershey School does not discriminate in admissions or other programs and services on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religious creed or disability. Read important MHS policies on equal opportunity and diversity, equal employment opportunity, and more.