Reading intervention project to start | Letter

Orcas will have its early reading intervention project thanks to lots of helpful and generous people.

Starting July 15, children who are struggling to learn to read will get the extra help they need for four weeks. We have sufficient funding pledges for this summer and to partially fund the 2020 summer’s instruction. We have four to five people that are considering becoming volunteer instructors. The goal is six volunteers every day, which will allow for the necessary low student/teacher ratio. The elementary school is close to completing the program’s teaching design. The school superintendent has enthusiastically and “absolutely” committed the school to execute the program. I will be getting test scoring data to evaluate the results and report them to you.

There are many people to acknowledge for the success of this project. Lynn Fielding, Jim Lewis and Jay Maidmont did all the research. Critical advice came from Hilary Canty, Ed Wilson and Victoria Parker. Lorena Stankevich and Glenda Smith jumped right in to get a program designed and supported at the school. Eric Webb is in full support. Funding pledges came from Walt Corbin, Ken and Kathy Weisenburger, Tom and Marjorie Owens, Robert and Wendy Darby, Bill Miller and Diane Boteler, Chris White, Stan and Kay Miller, Jim and Ann Bredouw, Rick and Marlace Hughes, Clyde and April Duke, Tye Tyson and NB Creation LLC. The Kiwanis Club, the Lion’s Club and the Legion made vital donations. Special thanks must go to the Orcas Island Education Fund, which really put this effort on sound financial footing with a large donation. Think about helping OIEF with their winter fundraising efforts. Volunteers are still needed; contact Lorena at

Now it is up to the elementary school to execute the instruction this summer. Challenges remain that must be solved. Parents need to commit to having their children in attendance every day. Transportation must be worked out. Students must be selected for the instruction. Volunteers must be trained. I know the elementary school can succeed at this!

Tom Owens

Orcas Island