The Granby Board of Education heard about the use and success of Read 180, a reading development and enrichment program currently in place at Granby Memorial Middle School, at its meeting Wednesday night.
The program is used to help students reach and even exceed the reading level for their grade. It incorporates individual instruction, small group work and adaptive computer-based assessment and immersive multimedia presentations to measure students’ progress and encourage the development of reading skills, according to a presentation given by GMMS literary specialist Erin Edwards and special education resource teacher Jennifer Brierton.
One of the program’s advantages is that it is tailored to the needs of each participating student.
“The program is completely adaptive and individualized,” Brierton said.
The program’s lexile screener measures students’ progress and makes provides feedback to instructors, allowing students to read fiction and non-fiction works that are challenging but not insurmountable.
“They are always reading at their “just-right” level,” Edwards said.
In the 2011-2012 school year, the Read 180 program served 25 students in seventh grade and eighth grade at GMMS. Of that group, seven reached the appropriate reading level for their grade and graduated from the program. In that same group, 21 students raised their lexile score by more than 100 points –an increase of 100 point being equal to going up an entire grade level in reading proficiency.
“We really saw some great success last year,” Edwards said.
Steve Walsh, an eighth grader at GMMS, successfully completed the program during the past school year and spoke to the board about how Read 180 has benefitted him. He said that while reading had previously been difficult and therefore discouraging, the program has brought him up to speed with his classmates.
“Now I feel successful in reading in all of my classes,” Walsh said.