A program that uses music to help children read at grade level is reaching more than 200 north Minneapolis students, thanks to Lucy Craft Laney Elementary School and Luther Automotive, which came together for the “Rock ‘n’ Read” Project.
Students in third, fourth and fifth grade start the TUNEin to READING program in February, on equipment purchased by Luther Auto and software licensing bought by the school. It’s hoped that 60 laptop computers and headsets will boost reading scores by two grade levels for some students by the end of the year, said Luther Community Engagement Coordinator Matt Oquist. These are kept in carts with graphics designed by Luther Automotive Performance Studio.
“Good reading is the number one indicator of whether or not you will graduate high school,” he said. The program has been offered on a bus in the past, which ended up playing a part in Luther discovering Rock ‘n’ Read.
Leader Bill Jones came to the auto group looking for space to park the bus in winter. He shared about the reading project and later came to present the program, Oquist explains. This led Luther Auto to challenge the school district to put up half of the funds needed. It was accepted.
The University of Minnesota is handling before and after tests for the students so results will be promptly available, Oquist explains. Program proponents claim that students can improve their reading by one grade level after 13 1/2 hours of training with the program. It begins in February, following teacher training.