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Reading Program Gives Students a Summer Boost

September 7, 2021

Two hundred Northfield elementary students who attended Summer PLUS, and more than 50 teachers and staff, participated in the Springboard Collaborative Learning Accelerator this summer. The evidence-based program coaches teachers, trains family members, and cultivates reading habits in students so they learn to read by fourth grade.

Northfield Public Schools paid for and staffed the program using COVID funding. Hosted at Greenvale Park Elementary School, the 20-day experience in Northfield included family/teacher meetings, daily literacy instruction in five major reading strategies, family workshops, and daily reading at home for incentives. Participating students, mostly in grades K-3, came from Bridgewater, Greenvale Park, Spring Creek, and St. Dominic’s Elementary Schools. More than 100 families attended family workshops. Teachers expressed overwhelmingly positive comments about the program’s content and process. 

Kindergarten teacher Gretchen Heil said it was her first experience with the program, and she liked that it focused on key foundational skills.

“It was what these kids needed. For the kids in my class, I saw some tremendous gains,” said Heil, who teaches at Spring Creek Elementary School during the regular school year. “Kids were seeing themselves as readers, and competent readers.”

Heil said one major benefit of the program is that it gets families more engaged and involved.

“I heard a lot of great feedback from parents; they could see that their kids had shown growth. One parent said her child was excited to come to school every day, and he has never been excited to come before,” she said.

To learn more about the Springboard Collective, visit

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