Spann Elementary (Jackson Public Schools) and Mississippi Children's Museum, Raising Cane's - Providing museum learning activities and literacy experiences to increase student achievement

Students impacted: 517
Volunteers: 50
Duration of partnership: MCM-7 years; Raising Cane's-5 years

Spann Elementary’s adopters and partners focus on providing students the tools to believe in themselves. When the school's partnerships began several years ago, volunteers came to Spann to teach students how to make lemonade, or offer opportunities for students to attend summer camps free of charge. They have always provided hands-on, minds-on activities in which students are able to build background knowledge and enrich their literacy experiences. 

Spann’s student body has been forever changed by the small battalion of volunteers who partner with the school and donate many hours to support literacy goals. As one group of fourth graders noted, they enjoy their time with the adopters because “it helps our brains” expand and learn things we might never have had a chance to learn.

Activities:
• "Planting the Seeds to Read" six-week evening literacy sessions for families
• Book Buddies program
• All About Animals book adventures unit
• Commissioned New Orleans Saints football player to speak with students in a school assembly.
• MCM Saturday family celebration
• "Imagination Celebration" — free week-long summer learning excursions at MCM
• Incentives for students who show growth in reading skills

Impacts:
• Third graders achieved 81% passing rate on GATE on first attempt.
• Students who did not pass and needed intense literacy intervention services were assigned adult volunteers/workers to implement plans of action; later, students achieved an overall 92% rate of success on the GATE – a 9% increase in testing results.
• STAR Reading Tests showed a steady rise in reading scores for approximately 90% of students; of 109 students receiving intervention instruction, only 7 did not show a substantial amount of growth.