BELOIT—As The Lincoln Academy enrollment reaches 395, those with the school announced its designation as a Wisconsin Reading Corps site for the 2021-2022 school year, its mascot, colors and other programming in the works.

A program of AmeriCorps, Reading Corps specifically focuses on reading literacy for students in kindergarten through Grade 3.

Reading is the foundation of all learning, however in Wisconsin, over half of children struggle to read by third grade, said The Lincoln Academy CEO Kristi Cole.

“I have worked closely with Reading Corps in the past and saw first-hand what incredible literacy progress scholars can make. When community partners and schools work together and share a love for what they do, amazing things happen. The Lincoln Academy is truly thankful to partner with Reading Corps and share this incredible partnership with the Beloit community,” Cole said.

“We have adopted a research-based top rated primary literacy curriculum. Our teachers will provide three hours of quality English language arts instruction daily. We will be using a variety of assessment tools to measure lesson mastery and growth in primary literacy skills. Our goal is to create proficient readers and to support scholars in their love for reading,” said Chief Instructional Officer Kari Flitz.

In partnership with The Lincoln Academy, Reading Corps will provide four trained literacy tutors to the school who work one-on-one or in pairs with students to build reading skills. The tutors will provide daily, 20-minute sessions, outside of the student’s teacher-led reading instruction, for students identified as needing support in practicing their reading skills. Prescribed, research-based literacy interventions will be used, and weekly progress monitoring will be conducted to support scholars in moving towards grade-level targets.

Cole said the school has reached an enrollment of 395 students on Tuesday, with some seats still available in first and second grade.

“Those are the years where the foundation of reading is so important. The added support of Reading Corps, and our rigorous curriculum, will be helpful for first and second graders,” Cole said.

Cole noted the school has a longer schedule compared to area districts, with students in class from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

Cole said 75% of staff are hired with a move-in date to the school building set for July.

The school, Cole said, is continuing to build partnerships to develop sports opportunities for students.

“We are looking into hockey, and providing swim lessons for second graders in partnership with the YMCA. We are still working through the WIAA process and looking at having wrestling as well as volleyball, golf, cross country, track and field, baseball and basketball,” Cole said.

The Lincoln Academy mascot has been selected, Linc the Lion. The school colors will be black, gray and royal blue which are also uniform colors. High schoolers will be wearing black; 5-8 schoolers, gray; and K4 through fourth graders, royal blue. Uniforms will consist of polo shirts, black pants along with options for fleece tops and skorts.