Reading made her magic in this MLK Middle School All Star


Haylee is an 8th grade student at Martin Luther King Middle School in Beaumont, Texas. She has a love for reading and travel, and allows her reading to transport her to different worlds 

When Green Dot assumed operational control of Haylee’s school, she was reading at a 2nd grade level. In just one year at Green Dot, she has grown over 3.5 grade levels in reading! A passion was sparked when she met her Language Arts teacher, Ms. Johnson. Through her perseverance and Ms. Johnsons mentorship, Haylee is on track for success in college leadership and life.

“I really like reading, but it was kind of confusing at times. That doesn’t stop me now though, because in my class, my teacher helps me,” said Haylee. “Ms. Johnson takes the story and she doesn’t give up until we are all learning and understanding. She keeps us focused and not slacking.”

Ms. Johnson echoes her belief in Haylee’s potential. “What I did was allow Haylee to do it by herself. When I got Haylee, she was turning in empty papers,” remembers Ms. Johnson. “I told her that in reading you are a criminal investigator, and the crime is your paper. What you need to do is study your paper, you need to highlight proof, you need to circle evidence. When you show me the proof, you show me that you understand the meaning of the story.”

This worked for Haylee and ever since, Haylee has immersed herself into the assigned readings and is an All Star detective! Most importantly, she is no longer afraid to speak up and ask for assistance when she needs support. She has grown from a shy and timid student, to a vocal participant in class who collaborates with her peers, and even helps her teacher when the class gets too rowdy! She is so much more confident and sure of herself. It makes Ms. Johnson incredibly proud. “Haylee speaks up for herself and others, asks questions, helps those around her, and is the first to raise her hand and offer help in the classroom.” 

With the tools provided to her by our Green Dot teachers, Haylee has grown into a confident All Star! She has also gained confidence watching the female WWE stars and she hopes to chanel that glamour and power in all aspects of her life as she grows. Haylee is committed to exploring her future path. “I like to learn things, so I want to have a job that constantly challenges me and changes. This summer I am even going to try to learn a new language!”

Students thrive in Green Dot schools. Each arrives at our middle or high schools, full of the energy and creativity of youth, but often accompanied by a data anomaly that doesn’t remotely fit: they are multiple grades behind and chance of college and a successful career is slipping away. They have been promoted learning half a grade or less each year. At Green Dot, everything changes. Anonymity is banished within a Green Lens of care, support, and unlimited expectations. Students become Growth All Stars, achieving multiple grades of learning each year at their schools. 

This holiday season we will introduce you to Growth All Stars - boys, girls, high schoolers, middle schoolers - all hitting it out of the park! There are 14,000 more Green Lens stories beyond these, each one unique and remarkable. Please put your energy behind them. GIVE what you can this holiday season and support All Star achievement.