Hammond resident Gail Rodovich highlighted the growth of the Hammond Education Foundation program “Come Read with Me” during her presentation for the National School Foundation Association Conference in Indianapolis.
Held in April, the conference provided the opportunity for education foundations around the country to share experiences and learn from various experts.
“I gave a presentation to tell how the Hammond Education Foundation grew a small program from one HEF grant and was able to expand it to include seven schools that affected several hundred families,” she said.
“I think it was good to have the Hammond Education Foundation acknowledged nationally for one of its programs.”
Rodovich has served as executive director of the Hammond Education Foundation since 1994, after teaching in the Hammond and Lowell school systems.
The “Come Read with Me” program began at Kenwood Elementary in 2011, when teachers Heidi Moore and Christine Lira carried out a series of three workshops for parents, giving them strategies to improve reading skills at home.
“After observing one of the workshops, I realized what a wonderful opportunity it was to enable parents to help their children be successful, and that it should be replicated in more schools,” Rodovich said.
“After getting the approval of School City administrators, I wrote a grant to the Legacy Foundation, and we received $15,000 to fund the program at seven schools during the 2012-13 school year.”
“We have recently been informed that the program will be funded again for the 2013-14 school year, as well,” she added.
When not observing classroom projects, Rodovich enjoys gardening and spending time with her grandchildren. She is the wife of Magistrate Judge Andrew Rodovich.