UConn Celebrates Young Readers

UConn student Alex Badalucco leads a "knot" activity involving team building skills, during the Read & Raise recognition event April 23. (Shawn Kornegay/UConn Photo)

UConn student Alex Badalucco leads a "knot" activity involving team building skills, during the Read & Raise recognition event April 23. (Shawn Kornegay/UConn Photo)

Hartford Public School students who excelled in a reading initiative organized through UConn’s Husky Sport program visited campus on Monday for a recognition of their accomplishments.

The Read & Raise Initiative involves students from three Hartford Public Schools (Clark, ML King, and Wish) in a literacy skill-building effort. During a four-month period, about 1,200 students from the three schools read more than 43,300 books. In the four years since the initiative was launched, Hartford students have read more than 167,000 books; and in two years, the reading scores of third graders increased 14 percent, partly due to activities such as this.

The top two reading classes at each school, the top student from each class in grades 2 through 6, and the top five middle school readers from each school were invited to attend Monday’s event.

The Husky Sport program is a collaboration of Hartford schools, community partners, and UConn students and volunteers, who collectively build positive relationships in the North End of Hartford. It focuses on healthy nutrition; relevant and transferable life skills such as respect, communication, leadership; exposure to varied sports and physical activities; and academic opportunities and excellence.

Jennifer Bruening, an associate professor of kinesiology who heads Husky Sport, welcomes students and teachers from three Hartford schools to a brunch and awards ceremony in Rome Ballroom. (Shawn Kornegay/UConn Photo)

Jennifer Bruening, an associate professor of kinesiology who heads Husky Sport, welcomes students and teachers from three Hartford schools to a brunch and awards ceremony in Rome Ballroom. (Shawn Kornegay/UConn Photo)

Natalia Warburton, a 7th grader from Wish Elementary, last year's recipient of the Maggie Bookman Award for outstanding reader, talks about the importance of reading and her goal to be a teacher. (Shawn Kornegay/UConn Photo)

Natalia Warburton, a 7th grader from Wish Elementary, last year's recipient of the Maggie Bookman Award for outstanding reader, talks about the importance of reading and her goal to be a teacher. (Shawn Kornegay/UConn Photo)

Students from Clark Elementary School do stretching activities in Gampel Pavilion. (Shawn Kornegay/UConn Photo)

Students from Clark Elementary School do stretching activities in Gampel Pavilion. (Shawn Kornegay/UConn Photo)

Hartford students from three elementary and middle schools who took part in the Read & Raise Initiative play basketball in Gampel Pavilion. (Shawn Kornegay/UConn Photo)

Hartford students from three elementary and middle schools who took part in the Read & Raise Initiative play basketball in Gampel Pavilion. (Shawn Kornegay/UConn Photo)

UConn student Alicia Waring leads Read & raise participants in yoga exercises. (Shawn Kornegay/UConn Photo)

UConn student Alicia Waring leads Read & raise participants in yoga exercises. (Shawn Kornegay/UConn Photo)

UConn student and basketball player Caroline Doty leads Read & raise participants in yoga exercises. (Shawn Kornegay/UConn Photo)

UConn student and basketball player Caroline Doty leads Read & raise participants in yoga exercises. (Shawn Kornegay/UConn Photo)