Launched in November of 2021, the Post-COVID Educational Enhancement Program is an innovative literacy intervention program that currently supports more than 100 students at afterschool programs throughout our community. The program is a product of collaboration; upon seeing the success of a similar UWWCM program, the City of Vicksburg approached United Way of West Central Mississippi with funding to support programs that account for pandemic-related learning loss in grades K-3.
The Post-COVID Educational Enhancement Program utilizes curriculum from Voyager Passport, a comprehensive K-5 supplemental reading intervention program, to train academic guides to support students through high-dosage, small-group tutoring. To measure growth, students are tested before, during and after the program. These test results are also used to create an individualized reading library for each student, introducing children to books that are not only age- and reading level-appropriate but that speak to their own unique interests.
The program is still in its infancy but shows great promise: more than 100 students gained an average of 5.5 months of reading skills in two months. On February 1, 2022, the top readers were recognized with awards presented by Mayor George Flaggs, Jr.
“The Post-COVID Educational Enhancement Program is a testament both to the power of collaboration and innovation as well as our community’s dedication to our children,” said Michele Connelly, Executive Director, United Way of West Central Mississippi. “By partnering with the City of Vicksburg, we’ve been able to create a program that’s as unique as our community, and we’re excited to see Post-COVID Educational Enhancement Program’s impact take root as it continues to grow.”