CDF pilot program promotes literacy

TUPELO – School’s in session this summer for children in the R.E.A.L. L.O.V.E. reading program.
“It’s Reclaiming Education to Advance Literacy because Literacy Offers Value to Everyone,” said Orlando Pannell, director of community development for the Community Development Foundation, the summer program’s sponsor.
About 40 children are participating in R.E.A.L. L.O.V.E., which began June 2 and continues on Tuesdays through the end of this month. The students meet in the A.M. Strange Library on North Green Street, but because of overflow, classes also are being held next door at Springhill Missionary Baptist Church.
“The first week we had 11 students,” said Pannell, who organized the program along with Patricia Neely-Dorsey. “Last week we had 44. We started off with ages 8-12, for third through sixth grades, but we have students in second through seventh grades so we made concessions for that.”
R.E.A.L. L.O.V.E. was established in part to help students retain what they learned in school over the summer, Pannell said, noting other goals are to promote the development of effective reading and comprehension skills as well as good oral and written communication skills.
Yesterday, Neely-Dorsey worked with a group of rising fourth- and fifth-graders as they prepared book reports on “Old Yeller.”
“It’s sad. At the end Old Yeller fights with a wolf and ends up dying,” said 9-year-old Blayton Morris, who will begin the fourth grade at Lawhon Elementary School in August.
Blayton said he likes the R.E.A.L. L.O.V.E. program.
“It’s fun to come here,” he said. “You always learn. They get you prepared when you go to school.”
Contact Ginny Miller at (662) 678-1582 or ginny.miller@djournal.com.

Ginny Miller/NEMS Daily Journal