Shepherdstown Rotary Club member Maria Brown with one of the 1st grade classes at North Jefferson Elementary School

The Shepherdstown and Charles Town Rotary clubs have joined forces to create a new in-school reading program in Jefferson County Schools (JCS). The program focuses on Title I schools, schools with a certain percentage of students receiving free or reduced lunch, including North Jefferson Elementary, T.A. Lowrey Elementary, Ranson Elementary, and Blue Ridge Elementary.

Rotarians from the Shepherdstown and Charles Town clubs will visit first-grade classrooms at these schools several times a year to read a book, then give each child in the class a copy to take home. The Rotary clubs launched their first round of readings on May 10 and finished on May 19. The books read were titled "Our Earth" and "City Mouse and Country Mouse." First-grade teachers at each school selected the books to be read and distributed. The Rotary clubs are paying for the program.

Next fall, the two clubs will resume the reading program with four readings planned throughout the school year. Principals and first-grade teachers at the schools collaborated to develop the program.