WARREN Program teaches kids the fun in learning

WARREN -- Jaycie Baugh wants to earn her living being a farmer.
At 5 years old, the city girl says she believes her dreams can come true because she has now learned to read.
"I'll be able to find out how to plant stuff now," Jaycie said, as she played with the plastic rhino nose that she wore around her face. "I think I'll have the biggest farm in the world because I won't have to wait for no one else to read directions to me."
Jaycie and about 30 other city children are sharpening their reading skills this summer through the Read Out Loud Program.
The program is at Shepherd of All God's Children, inside the Thomas Community Center, 1952 Burton St.
A state grant and donations from local churches help fund the program, said Lori Liakeris and Kimberly Clinkscale, assistant directors of Shepherd of All God's Children. The program runs during the summer and after school during the school year, Liakeris said.
There is no charge for participants, Clinkscale said.
"We have teachers from Warren City Schools that come here and high school students that help us with the children," Liakeris said.
"We want the young children to know that learning can be fun and that they can do whatever they want."
Saw a need
Liakeris, who lives in Howland and works in the food service department for Warren schools, said she and Clinkscale started the program about a year ago.
"I have three boys, and two were struggling so much in school that they didn't want to go back," Liakeris said. "I didn't know what to do. They were so miserable. I want to try and help as many children as I can so they don't go through what my boys had to."
Liakeris said she thinks if children can learn to read well early, they will have fewer problems in school.
She noted that the summer program consists of reading in the morning and "entertainment activities" in the afternoon.
"We do art, and Regina Rees from Warren Harding brings her students over in the afternoon to teach the children acting skills," Liakeris said. "Today, they are putting on different animal noses and doing little plays."
Rees said teaching the acting skills helps the children become confident about public speaking.
"I can't believe how creative these kids are," said Dan Parsons, a junior at Harding High School. "They have so many great ideas and they are so energetic that they pump me up."

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