Donations help reading program

A local couple’s donation to a Wapakoneta City School District school hopefully should help a special reading program to grow.

Wapakoneta residents Gwynne and Dr. Thomas Freytag have recently made a donation to the Wapakoneta Middle School to purchase three iPads for the Redskin Reading Club.

“It is a good investment of money when you give to kids in the community,” Gwynne Freytag said.

The Redskin Reading Club, a club compromised of approximately 30 students who are reading below their reading level, previously received donations from The Wapakoneta Eagles and Sertoma Club to purchase three iPads for the school, but the Wapakoneta Middle School was still in need of three more iPads for the program for the students.

This is where the Freytags stepped in.

“We saw an article in the paper that service clubs had donated three iPads to the middle school,” Gwynne Freytag said, “and the middle school said they were in need of three more.”

So the couple stepped up and donated enough money to cover three more iPads to donate to the reading program to help the students.

“We’ve been supporters of the schools and done various things over the years,” Freytag said.

The Redskin Reading Program uses the iPads every day to help the children learn in a motivational way.

“The iPads are huge because they provide the material in a motivational way,” Redskins Reading Club coordinator Nicki Metzger said.

The iPads have applications, or apps, that target certain areas, including processing speed and working memory.

“There are apps out there that can help,” Metzger said. “This is helping to address whatever deficit there is.”

Students in the club have different reading deficits, so the iPads help by addressing their issues on an individual basis.

“We find apps that fit,” Metzger said. “We make it as individual as possible.”

On behalf of the club, Metzger said she was very appreciative of the donation to the club.

“It touched my heart when Mr. (Ray) Payne told me they were donating them,” Metzger said. “It’s wonderful and they are wonderful.”

The Redskin Reading Club was a program spearheaded by Deb Tuneberg, and the intervention specialists at the middle school have been helping to identify students that would benefit from this program.

Metzger said she has been noticing improvement in the reading levels of the students in the club with the use of the iPads.

The Freytags noted that their daughter, Jessica, is developmentally disabled, and that programs in the Wapakoneta City School District helped her tremendously through the years as she was growing up.

“We’ve always been involved with the kids,” Freytag said. “With whatever assistance you can give them — from glasses to technology.”

Freytag said the couple was happy they could help out the local school district.

“It really excites me as a parent that we have teachers who think outside the box,” Gwynne Freytag said. “They have a good administration to help them achieve their goal, because the kids are what it is all about.

“I feel a community is as good as you make it,” she said. “Children are the future.”