CORNING - Corning Rotary's reading program is proving to be a big success.

Inspired by research drawing a line between lifetime success and the ability to read by the third grade, the Rotary Club began a literacy initiative with Winfield School in the 2015-2016 school year, making a three-year commitment to adopt a Kindergarten class and follow it through to the second grade.

The group provided one book per child per month to read with parents. Rotary members also volunteered to read with the students at the school.

The results of that initiative are now in and the percentage of students in the adopted cohort at Winfield School far exceeded established reading standards.

The success of the program has led to other community groups to adopt subsequent Kindergarten classes at Winfield School, while the Corning Rotary has now also brought the initiative to the Severn School.

The books are from the “We Both Read” series, which encourages parents to read to their children. Studies show that when parents engage in the reading process, children are more successful at reading on their own, so each book has a parent page and a child page. The books are also leveled reading, which helps children reading at both lower and higher reading levels.

Over the course of the project, each student will have received a total of 30 books.

The project is closely monitored and measured by School District administration and the Corning Rotary Club receives periodic updates on the students’ progress. Club members actively participate in book distribution events and also in the “Rotary Readers” project at the schools, where Rotarians volunteer to read with the students.