Working Hard with the Hill Center

By Ann Bailey

KIPP Durham is participating in the Hill Center's East Durham Learning Collaborative, a program that provides small group reading instruction for students who need a little extra help. Groups of four students and a specially trained teacher meet four days a week for HillRAP, short for the Hill Reading Achievement Program. Together, they practice concepts such as phonetics, reading comprehension, and consonant-vowel-consonant words. With lots of practice and support from their teachers and peers, these students are making great progress in learning how to read!

I loved getting to spend time with the students and teachers of HillRAP, and I looked forward to my sessions with them every week. It was exciting to witness the students' progress throughout the semester, their proficiency growing each time I returned. I often found myself silently cheering for them as I tried my best to capture both the highs and the lows that come with practicing any skill. I'd like to extend a thank you to everyone at KIPP Durham for allowing us to take pictures of their school, and the Hill Center for all the information and support they provided me. Most of all, though, I'd like to thank the HillRAP teachers who so graciously welcomed me into their classrooms, especially Dawn McClendon for her tremendous support and willingness to answer any question.