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Kane Elementary School has new reading program

November 1, 2011

Photo by Ted Lutz – Part of a new reading program at the Kane Elementary School features tutoring sessions for children. Taking part in a typical tutoring session are, left to right: Linda Lorenzo, principal at the elementary school; Cecelia Anderson, a first-grade student; JoAnn Wolfe, a reading specialist and facilitator for the Success For All (SFA) reading program; and Star Nicklas, a first-grade student.

No reading textbook to carry home from school every day?
That’s right.
Under a new reading program at the Kane Elementary School, students can “read anything they want” when they go home as long as they read, Principal Linda Lorenzo said.
She said the students are directed to read books, magazines or newspapers for “at least 20 minutes” at home each day after school. When they’re finished reading, students are expected to discuss what they’ve read with a parent or an older sibling.
“We call it ‘read and respond,’” Lorenzo said in discussing the “big home component” of the new reading program.
“Parents seem very positive,” Lorenzo said. “They’re thrilled to see their children reading independently at home.”
The school is placing a heavy emphasis on building reading skills, in part, to boost scores on the annual tests under the Pennsylvania System of Scholastic Assessment (PSSA).
These tests, which will be given next March across the state, determine whether a school is making Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) under the federal No Child Left Behind program.
“We’ve set a goal to exceed proficiency levels in reading,” Lorenzo said. She is confident the new program will help the school meet this target.
The new reading program—called “Success For All (SFA)”—has been developed by John Hopkins University in Baltimore.
As Lorenzo explained, students are placed in reading groups “based on their instructional level, not their frustration level.”
This means some high-achieving children may be placed with students in a higher grade level. This also means that children who are having difficulties are placed with students from a lower grade with similar reading skills.
“This is a whole different way of teaching kids to read,” Curriculum Principal Natalie Miller-Martini said. “Some kids just need a little longer to read at their instructional level instead of at their grade level.”

See full article by purchasing the Nov. 2 edition of The Kane Republican.

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