For students who cannot read, all school subjects can prove difficult, and they often just give up. However, the American Bible Society and Salvation Army have joined forces in a campaign called Mission: Literacy, and participating at-risk elementary students in three New Jersey cities are excelling instead of quitting. While improving their reading and literacy skills, students’ lives also are being enriched.
According to Developmental Reading Assessment statistics, 89 percent of participating students increased by seven reading levels; 79 percent increased their percentage of actual words read. Tutors engage children through games, character discussions, and vocabulary building activities based on the Bible Society’s illustrated texts.
Thomas Durakis, director for publishing services at American Bible Society’s Bibles.org, said they are extremely pleased with the results and that exposure to God’s Word will have a positive impact on their lives beyond the classroom. The program was piloted in 2006 to evaluate the effectiveness of Scripture-based curriculum and individualized instruction; it has done so well that a 10-year agreement has been signed between the two organizations to launch the program nationwide.