Chirico promotes literacy through ECU scholars internship

jessica chirico

Jessica Chirico, from Havelock, reads to a student as part of her East Carolina University Scholars Leadership Internship course. Chirico selected literacy as her focus.

East Carolina University photo
Published: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 04:55 PM.

Jessica Chirico, of Havelock, completed her East Carolina University Scholars Leadership Internship course this spring.

Chirico, a 2010 Havelock High graduate who was valedictorian of her class, spent her internship course working to improve literacy in a class of young students at G.R. Whitfield Elementary School in the Grimesland community of Pitt County.

As a freshman at East Carolina, Chirico received the EC scholarship, the most prestigious merit scholarship offered to incoming freshmen at ECU, according to a release from the university. As part of the program within the school’s Honors College, Chirico had the chance to select an internship that focused on making a positive impact on the community and involved a personal passion.

Through the internship, Chirico worked with an instructional coach at the elementary school and identified a classroom in which the need was great. They selected a third-grade class in which most of the  students fell below the average reading level.

Chirico spent the semester working with the students on their reading and comprehension levels through supervision and 10-minute quizzes.

She said challenging the students was important if they were to show any improvement in their reading level.

“I’m making sure they are not reading baby books because it’s easy, but pushing themselves to make sure that they are growing as readers,” Chirico said.

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