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Education Station: Checking in on Cleveland's Harvey Rice Wraparound School

3News adopted the Harvey Rice Wraparound School this academic year. The latest initiatives are all about literacy.

CLEVELAND — The latest initiatives at Harvey Rice Wraparound School in Cleveland’s Buckeye neighborhood are all about literacy.

The school is rated one out of five stars in the categories of achievement and early literacy on the latest state report card. Within the last few months, 3News and other community partners have come together to address literacy and achievement through books and finances.

At January’s Family Literacy Night, held at the Rice Branch of the Cleveland Public Library, poetic call and response is the language being used in a conversation about the importance of the comprehension of words.

“You get in high school, they're going to say, ‘read something,’ and you don't know how to read it,” explains Eleaser Johnson, a third grader at Harvey Rice.

Eleaser understands that reading is fundamental to success. He and his mom, Ashley Smith, made it a point to attend the event at the library right next to his school.

“Our kids, they struggle if they don't have that reading foundation,” Smith says. “So again, that's why we think it's so important in our family to read.”

Author Akil Marshall led about 25 Harvey Rice students, and a few parents, through a creative and music-filled session exploring the excitement of reading. Young scholars even left with a free book.

“We want to make sure there's no barriers for people to access information,” says Harvey Rice principal Jason Tidmore.

The literacy initiatives don’t stop with books.

Last November, Fifth Third Bank teamed with Harvey Rice to explore financial literacy with parents and community partners.

According to the Center for Community Solutions, the median household income in the Buckeye-Shaker Square neighborhood, where the school is located, is $30,448.

A representative from the bank shared resources available to achieve financial wellness and answered questions about building credit. The goal is to boost faith that Harvey Rice families can achieve economic and educational success.

Speaking of achievement, about 14 years ago, students at Harvey Rice created a mural describing what they wanted to accomplish when they grew up.

If you know a former student who participated in that project and is currently working in the profession they depicted on the wall, please contact Margaret Bernstein at mbernstei@wkyc.com. We would love to tell their story in our Education Station series.

Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published in a previous Education Station story on Nov. 23, 2023.

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