Mass. Reading Association Honors Minuteman With Exemplary Reading Award
By Judy Bass
Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical High School announced on May 13, 2020, that the Massachusetts Reading Association (MRA), an organization that promotes literacy, has honored Minuteman with its Exemplary Reading Program Award.
“This award legitimizes the work we have done over the last 10 years to make sure we take care of the needs of the students,” said Minuteman High School Principal George Clement. “We recognized a need and stuck with it. It’s all been worthwhile.”
For the first time in MRA history this award is being given to a secondary school. The previous recipients of this honor have been elementary schools.
Minuteman was selected in a competitive process that involved 12 nominated schools from across the state.
According to the MRA, the five objectives of this award program are:
- To improve literacy in our society;
- To recognize schools that demonstrate excellence in reading and literacy programs;
- To encourage the development and refinement of exemplary reading/language arts programs;
- To report to the public noteworthy efforts to improve reading/language arts, and;
- To disseminate specific information about high-quality programs so that other professionals can use it to improve their own instructional efforts.”
“We were very impressed with Minuteman,” said MRA Vice President-Elect Patricia Kelley.
She specificallty mentioned the media center situated at the hub of the school, the integration of reading skills in the school’s career and technical programs as well as in its academic programs, the outstanding reading program for freshmen, the multi-tiered system of support for the reading program throughout the school, and the allocation of financial resources to the reading program.
“There is a lot of commitment from everyone at Minuteman,” Kelley said. “Literacy is beng integrated across the curriculum. We understood the value in that.”
Clement, who was formerly a reading coach at Minuteman, said that this accolade is “a nice complement” to the National Blue Ribbon School Award that Minuteman received in 2018.
“We closed performance gaps,” he said. “The reading program had a lot to do with helping all students and promoting rigor.”
Principal Clement also pointed out that Minuteman’s reading program is scientifically-based and has widespread support among faculty and staff.
He emphasized that the success of the school’s reading program is a reflection of the faculty’s dedication. “They are driven to do the most that they can for the students.”