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PORCH Program Awards Readers

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Reading pays off for Rosa and Austin when Superintendent Howard and the OSCAReading Bus stop at their home.

"Reading is a priority for Taylor County," said Superintendent Oscar Howard. For the past seven years, Superintendent Howard's PORCH (Power Over Reading Challenges Homes) Program has brought this statement to life. Superintendent Howard created the program, which is supported by district staff and local businesses, to draw attention to the importance of reading and studying at home.

The format is simple. Between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., Superintendent Howard and the PORCH Crew take the OSCAReading (Only Success Comes After Reading) Bus to visit the homes of students. Parents and students leave the porch light on as a signal for the crew to stop and check to see if students are reading or working on homework assignments. When the OSCAReading Bus stops, the TV must be off, and the children must be doing homework or reading in order to receive a gift. The gifts include books, a subscription to the local newspaper and snacks. Students are also invited to attend a School Board meeting to receive recognition, an OSCAReading t-shirt and a $50 savings bond.

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Superintendent Howard and Principal George Clayton, of Perry Primary School, visit the homes of Taylor County students on the OSCAReading Bus.

The PORCH Program is just one of the ways Superintendent Howard encourages his students to read. Parents, teachers, administrators and students believe this program has contributed to their success and will continue to improve reading scores in their schools. Superintendent Howard says he enjoys his visits to the students' homes as much as the parents and students look forward to having him visit. The entire community must be committed for the PORCH Program to be successful, and area businesses eagerly support the program.

For more information on Taylor County Schools, visit: http://www.taylor.k12.fl.us.