Boys & Girls Club Members Improve Reading 113 Percent in New Program

Donor Funds Squires Housing Site Club members in Hardy Brain Wordquest program

OXNARD, Calif.—Club members at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme Squires Housing satellite site showed impressive results after taking the Hardy Brain Wordquest reading fluency tests. These youth participated in the site’s first-ever Summer Learning Academy, which was funded by local philanthropist Bill Wilson, through the Ventura County Community Foundation.

A partnership with the City of Oxnard’s Housing Authority, the BGCOP Squires Housing Unit satellite site in Oxnard averaged 3-6 youth members before the Summer Learning Academy opened this summer. “Mr. Wilson’s generous support enabled us to establish the Academy, double the number of youth served and extend after-school hours Monday-Friday from 2-6 p.m.,” said Erin Antrim, Club CEO.

Nearly 40 Club members, ages 6-18, attended the Summer Learning Academy and participated in the Hardy Brain Wordquest program, along with other programs. This small group of youth took a series of tests to determine reading levels and word fluency. As part of the Hardy Brain Wordquest computer-based program, Club members played interactive reading games, reviewed vocabulary, took quizzes and had fun while fine-tuning their reading skills.

A Wordquest pre- and post-test were completed by all Squires Club members. At the end of the summer, they took a standardized test called the Test of Silent Word Reading Fluency (TOSWRF), which measures reading achievement in “months of growth,” with 10 months equaling one school year. The same words are tested pre- and post-training.

“Students are expected to make one month growth for each 20-day month they attend school,” said Sherrie Hardy, a learning specialist and creator of the Hardy Brain Training Program. “The Squires Club members made over half-a-year of growth.”

Many of these youth had never taken part in the Club’s programs before this summer. “This group of kids had amazing results using the Hardy Brain Wordquest program. They showed 113 percent improvement in their reading skills from the beginning of summer to the end,” said Antrim. “These youth live in a high-need area, surrounded by poverty and gangs. To be able to provide programs that kept them engaged and learning over the summer was an incredible opportunity. We are grateful for the support of our community members and donors and look forward to serving these youth throughout the school year.”

The Hardy Brain Wordquest program lessons combine visual, auditory, kinesthetic and cognitive exercises giving the brain a ‘workout’ that engages kids as they learn reading, spelling and math.


The Boys & Girls Club has served the youth of Oxnard and Port Hueneme for over 60 years. With three full-service clubs and 17 school program sites, the organization is one of the largest of its kind in California. The Club provides programs for more than 10,400 youth and teens in three priority outcome areas: Academic Success, Good Character and Citizenship, and Healthy Lifestyles. For more information please visit

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