Club helped her read and spell like a champion

Brianna Smith’s mother did not know where to turn.

Her daughter was in third grade but her ability to read was nowhere near where it should have been. So she enrolled Brianna and her brother, Brandon, in the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland site at Walton School, where both are pupils.  There, Brianna received extra help with her reading.

And while it did not happen overnight, she improved her reading skills.

“Her mom brought her here every day – every day,” said Shirlann Lawson, the cadet instructor who coordinates the reading program at the Walton Club.

Brianna, 10, is now in the fourth grade and reading at close to that level. How did she improve so much in the span of less than a year? “I did it by practicing,” she said.

Reading wasn’t the only skill Brianna picked up at the Club. She recently beat out 32 other kids to win a Club spelling competition, a victory that would have been unfathomable even a few months earlier. “Our whole Club was stunned, surprised – and very happy for her,” Lawson said.