A web-based program implemented at Trimble County Middle School earlier this year has helped some students significantly improve their reading scores.

Middle school principal Mike Genton presented data on the Reading Plus program implemented at the school in October during a school board meeting Wednesday night. All of the students at the middle school have seen an increase in reading this year with the program, he said.

About 1 percent of sixth-grade students have improved up to four grade levels with their reading skills since the program began. Other students - 7 percent - have increased their reading skills by three grade levels, 26 percent of students have increased by at least two grade levels and 31 percent have improved by one grade level. About 35 percent of students have maintained their grade-level reading.

"Nobody has lost ground in reading this year," he said.

Genton said the students who have seen significant jumps in grade-level reading were the students who had the lowest reading scores at the beginning of the year.

Other grades have seen increases, too. Some seventh-grade students have increased their reading by up to seven grade levels with some eighth-grade students improving their reading by up to five grade levels.

"I see more desire in (students) to read," Genton said.

The web-based program can continue after school or throughout the summer months, as long as students have internet access. Genton hopes to be able to provide incentives to students to continue the program through the summer to help with "brain-drain" during summer break.

"If you put the effort into it, you'll get the results," Genton said during the meeting.

Middle school students also presented their award-winning projects they plan to take to the National Beta Club convention later this year.

Several students showcased their artwork, quilting, scrapbook, speech, essays and other projects - some of which earned state honors. Some of the club's members plan to attend the national convention in Richmond, Va., in June with other club members from across the country.

The Trimble County Middle School Beta Club, which has about 70 members, is a service organization. Each of the club members performs at least 10 hours of service throughout the year. Students have accumulated 921 during the year.

 During the meeting, students discussed the Kentucky Youth Assembly event held last year. Members of the Trimble County Middle School Student Council attended the assembly where they were able to learn of the governmental process and how bills come to be.

The assembly split students into three groups: Legislation presenters, congress members and senate members. Presenters spoke about bills that their schools came up with, while congress and senate members voted to approve the bills.

While the bill presented by Trimble County Middle School students weren't passed through, students won the best new delegation award and were able to attend sessions in Frankfort.

Genton said the program helped build leadership among students.

Also during the meeting, seventh-grade students spoke about a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics event they attended at Northern Kentucky University.

Each student said the day's activities highlighted careers in the four areas and encouraged kids to pursue degrees in those fields.