| By Jason C. Mattox
Claiborne Barksdale appeared before the North Panola School District Board of Trustees Monday night asking for their assistance in expanding reading services in their schools.
"We have had our reading instruction to improve literacy at Como and Crenshaw for the past three years, and we look forward to being back with you next year," Barksdale said. "The goal of the program was to generate data that we could go to congress or the governor and show them what we could do."
Barksdale said his current plans called for an expansion of reading instruction at the Como campus.
"I have met with (Como principal) Dawn Ausbon and (Barksdale Reading Institute staff member) Cindy Hale about opportunities to expand," he said.
The two options discussed were:
- District employees would replicate what Barksdale staffers are doing.
- An intervention specialist (district employee) would be placed on the Como campus.
"We would provide the materials for the classrooms and additional support for the schools and would handle the training during the summer," Barksdale said. "We would continue funding the classroom at Como and the others would be paid for with district funds.
"We would appreciate your considerations and realize there are some financial implications for the district," he added.
The Barksdale Reading Institute works with approximately 75 students in Como this year helping them read at or above grade level.
"We have heard that this program is making some big improvements for the students who were having problems reading," trustee Billy Russell said.
"We just ask that you let us know as soon as possible because we do need to make the plans for the training," Barksdale said.
Board members asked Superintendent Glendora Dugger to provide cost estimates.
"If we can afford it, we would love to do it at more than one location," trustee Cecil Dowden said.