Warner Bros. will open a pilot reading program in Burbank this week using magazines and personal instruction to boost the reading abilities of young students and adults.
Burbank will be the first “Time to Read” site for Warner Bros. to open in the area, but the studio is planning to open 14 other sites in the Los Angeles area this summer.
“We wanted to do Burbank first because we are headquartered here,” said Kapuua d’auClawre, a spokeswoman for the company. “Time to Read” is a nationwide reading program in which schools and companies work together to provide instruction.
Training of at least 105 volunteer reading tutors recruited by Warner Bros. will begin Saturday. They start work a week later at the Burbank Unified School District’s three middle schools and at the Burbank YMCA, where adults who cannot read above the fourth-grade level will be tutored.
The volunteers will use Time and People magazines and work with groups of three students at a time.
“One-on-three is a pretty good ratio that few schools can provide,” said Susan Boegh, director of partnership programs for the Burbank Unified School District.
So far, 180 students in grades six through nine and 25 adults are signed up for the classes.
“This is to help these students in all the other subjects, and not just in English,” d’auClawre said. With the personal tutoring, the ability to read is ultimately limited only by the students’ willingness to learn, she added.
The program is a pilot project. Burbank school officials must decide whether it works for their district before it is made permanent. But so far the program has received a favorable response.