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Engineering Better Readers Program Launched
August 16, 2010

The Engineers Leadership Foundation is pilot-testing its new Engineering Better Readers program, an initiative that incentivizes elementary-school students to read more and while giving participating engineers leadership roles in their respective communities.

According to Patty Bachner, Engineering Better Readers program director, “Our research shows that incentives work. They also give kids a chance to experience achievements and empowerment through reading skills.” She will be directing the program’s three pilot efforts in Newark, N.J., Houston, and Denver.

Under the program, a participating engineering firm coordinates with local school authorities to sponsor a reading initiative in a designated under-performing elementary school. The firm purchases kid-friendly incentives and provides mentors who encourage students to read, provide assistance when needed, and discuss books chosen to enrich the reading experience. Incentives include iPods, Wiis, and other electronic items; nonviolent toys and games; and skateboards, basketballs, and other sports equipment, among many others. Children read books for points they use to “purchase” the incentives.

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