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School takes Schott at literacy

Charlton Street School, local firm tag team to teach reading

This spread of student-created letters and cards was among those Schott helped send to troops in the Middle East last spring. (click for larger version)
September 07, 2011
SOUTHBRIDGE — To get students more interested in reading, Charlton Street School teamed up with the business most students walk by en route to school, Schott Fiberoptics.

Starting next week, at least 17 Schott staffers will be visiting the school at least weekly to read to the kids.

“Half an hour a week can make such a big difference for the children,” said engineer Kerry Highbarger, one of the people coordinating the effort.

Teacher Kathleen Cadarette agreed, noting, “Children love being read to on the most basic level.” She said having people discuss the stories with them would help them with both comprehension and oral language skills, and build a better understanding of the world outside the school.

The seed for the partnership was took root this spring, when Schott’s Highbarger told colleague Vanessa Roney she was thinking about simply dropping into the school during one of her afternoon walks and Roney gave Principal Bryant Montigny a call. They said they didn’t really have any specific goal in mind, just wanted to see what Schott could do to help the school they saw buses from everyday.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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