TORONTO - The city school district soon will have another teaching tool for young readers -Success for All, a program designed to cultivate reading skills in pupils through sixth grade.
The program will begin this fall for pupils enrolled in pre-kindergarten to sixth grade and is based on the pupil's reading ability rather than age or grade level, according to Maureen Taggart, District communications coordinator.
"This is a new program aimed at preschool through sixth-grade pupils," said Taggart. "It was developed through extensive research at Johns Hopkins University."
Taggart said the program's mission is to provide and cultivate reading comprehension skills so pupils will be reading at least at or above their grade level
"The focal point is a 90-minute, uninterrupted daily reading program," said Taggart, adding pupils will be grouped according to their skill level rather than grade level or age. By grouping according to skill level teachers can work more intensively with pupils one on one while at the same time giving pupils the opportunity to grow together, she said.
Groups will include Curiosity Corner for ages 3-4; Kinder Corner for pupils in kindergarten; Reading Roots for first-graders; and Reading Wings, which includes the reading levels, according to Taggart.
Patti Quinn, Karaffa Elementary School principal, said she believes the new reading program will be a big help to educators.
"I think one of the key benefits will be it will help all pupils across all levels," said Quinn. "Each pupil will be able to advance at their own pace. It will fill in some of the pieces that we've been missing, especially those reading above their grade level. The staff is enthusiastic about it. One-hundred percent of our staff voted (to use the program). "
Rich Lucci, director of special programs for the district, said he was familiar with the program.
"We had inquired about beginning the program here," said Lucci, adding the program was used in the Steubenville City School District while he was superintendent.
"Success For All also sets up a network in schools based on social, emotional and academic needs," said Taggart.
Teachers will be working in teams through the program, and pupils' progress is acknowledged immediately rather than waiting, added Quinn.
"The program celebrates the (pupils') successes through the day rather than waiting," she said.
(Miller can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)