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Stories

School of R.O.C.K. Program

February 22, 2018

by Elizabeth Polk

An afterschool program that began almost ten years ago at LSUS is still showing its positive effect on students, and the community. Dr. Kevin Jones founded the School of R.O.C.K (Reading and Organization for Cool Kids) program at Miami University in Ohio in 2005. During the program’s first year, it was called ‘Extreme Makeover in Reading’. Dr. Jones saw the impact of the program on students at Miami University, and began the program at LSUS in 2009, upon moving to Shreveport.

Tutors in the program are undergraduate, and graduate students, and are students at LSUS. Graduate students that are in the Specialist in School Psychology program, and undergraduates are psychology majors. The School of R.O.C.K. program allows the tutors to establish bonds with their students, while creating opportunities for them in their field of study. Undergraduate students that tutor can build connections with an undergraduate field experience, and graduate students that tutor are linked with practicum courses. Children in the program are in between first, and third grade, and receive individualized tutoring and behavioral support.

Upon graduation, children are allowed to continue their enrollment at School of R.O.C.K, as long as they’re attending tutoring sessions, and the program is being effective.

The LSUS Foundation generously donates almost half of the funding that’s contributed to the School of R.O.C.K program. The other half of the funding is donated by the Specialist in School Psychology program faculty.

The program has shown its effectiveness on its students, with approximately eighty-five children that have graduated from the summer program to date. Within the last three years, sixty-five children have enrolled in the afterschool program. There isn’t an official graduation ceremony held for the students.

Although there it isn’t a requirement to follow up with the children’s academic progress upon graduation, Dr. Jones states that school personnel provides anecdotal progress reports for some of the children. There are parents that occasionally provide unsolicited updates for their children.

The School of R.O.C.K. program has developed and refined several programs to meet the needs of various academic concerns for students. Students can get tutoring in reading fluency, phonemic awareness, math, comprehension, and motivation. “Our goal is to continue serving Caddo and Bossier teachers while enhancing the program’s research productivity,” said Dr. Jones. School psychology faculty and students are currently working together on several research papers to communicate the findings for each individual program.

Dr. Jones School of R.O.C.K program is continuing to make a profound impact, not only on the students in the program, but also the tutors, and the LSUS community.