UFRS "The Beginning"UFRS

UFRS began with a dream and the determination of two people, Dr. John Mielke and his wife, Sally, as a result of their commitment to a healthy lifestyle for all children.

In 1995, Dr. John Mielke brought the idea of a reading tutoring program back from North Carolina after a visit with his sister. She was so excited about the program, which she participated in, that she invited John to observe the tutoring she and others did in an elementary school in Hilton Head. The Mielke's immediately began to visualize how such a program could be implemented in the Appleton Area School District (AASD).

A broad-based committee made up of Dr. Mielke, Sally Mielke, a few teachers, principals, hospital volunteer coordinators, and volunteer tutors was formed. This steering committee observed the program in action by traveling down to Hilton Head on a bus. A pilot program was implemented in AASD schools in February 1996.

In the fall of 1996, the program had expanded to eight schools. Today, UFRS tutoring occurs in sixteen elementary schools.

Several hundred children have benefited from this program over the years. many people have been involved: keeping the program current with what is being taught in classrooms and to maintain a positive program direction. AASD is very fortunate to have volunteer tutors that are committed and have a strong interest in helping children do their very best .

Over 2/3 of students enrolled in the program attain grade level or above reading by the end of 1st grade. Students' attitudes toward reading improve greatly and parents are very pleased with the help their child is getting through this program.

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