New this year, the elementary school has added a reading program, Accelerated Reader, to help teachers and parents better assess where students are with their reading and how they can further support them to excel.
“We chose Accelerated Reader because it is an individualized program that allows students to set reading goals and explore literature at their personal reading levels,” shared Lynn Kistler, Director of Elementary Curriculum. “Providing students with books at their level helps students grow in their reading ability and their comprehension skills. If a child chooses a book that is too difficult, he/she can become frustrated or lose the motivation to read. We hope that the individualized plan and reading goals will help avoid this.”
The way the program works is each student takes a reading test on a computer to gauge their level. Then, students read books at their level and take comprehension quizzes to test their understanding. Students are encouraged to stretch and grow in their reading level at their own pace.
“We want to foster a love for reading and we believe this program helps us do that,” continued Lynn. “Becoming a strong reader is absolutely fundamental to helping a child be successful in all subject areas; however, reading to understand is just as important. This is why the comprehension element is so valuable.”
Giving teachers tools to help individualize learning is another goal of SCCS. Accelerated Reader further assists teachers in helping each student achieve their best level and grow in reading.
“We love that this program enables our teachers to help students grow in their fluency and comprehension skills at their own level and pace,” shared Lynn. “We are looking forward to how this will positively impact our learning culture at SCCS.”
Funding for this program came from Sulphur Springs School District. Each year, SCCS is offered funds that the district is required to share with local private schools to purchase materials or programs that will directly benefit students. Accelerated Reader is already being used in SCCS Elementary classrooms.
“Elementary students are currently taking their initial assessments to determine their reading levels,” continued Lynn. “Be on the lookout for helpful reports or other information from your child's teacher to explain his/her reading scores and goals for this year. Once you receive this information, you can go to any SCV library and check out books using this information as our local libraries use Accelerated Reader also. You can also look for books within your child's reading level on www.arbookfind.com.”