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Program to boost reading abilities

May 27, 1998|By CLYDE FORD

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County first-graders who are having trouble reading will get help from a program designed to boost their test scores.

County school officials told the Jefferson County Board of Education Tuesday that the Reading Recovery program will begin in the 1998-99 school year at Ranson, North Jefferson and Blue Ridge elementary schools.

Six teachers will spend 30 minutes with each pupil, said Bretta Gibbs, Title I coordinator for the school system.

The $312,000 program is federally funded.

Gibbs said she would like the program to be funded at all schools that serve first-graders.

Derby Hammond, who will serve as the Reading Recovery team leader, said the program has been used successfully at other schools to improve the abilities of first-graders who are reading below their grade level.

The students spend 12 to 14 weeks in intensive, daily, one-on-one reading instruction with a teacher, Hammond said. The program is intended to help students read at the same level as or better than the average student in the classroom, she said.

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When students successfully complete the program, they feel more confident in other academic areas, Hammond said.

Sherry Hetzel, coordinator of instruction, said studies done on Reading Recovery have shown the program saves school systems money because those who complete it don't have to repeat a grade and therefore are not mislabeled and placed in programs for the learning-disabled.

Teachers will be trained this summer and will begin providing lessons to selected students in the fall.

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