Florida Elementary School Making Big Strides With
Rourke Educational Media’s Reading Web Program
Students in grades 3-5 show marked improvement in reading, science, FCAT scores
VERO BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 10, 2013) – Rourke Educational Media’s Reading Web program, designed to engage struggling 2nd-12thgrade readers in developing their reading skills, has dramatically helped students in a central Florida elementary school to make strong gains in their vocabulary development, reading comprehension and reading fluency, as well as their proficiency in science.
The School District of Osceola County chose The Rourke Reading Web – a program that includes both software and books with a focus on a student’s fluency and vocabulary development – as a reading intervention program to help ELLs who scored at level 1 on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) Reading and Science to improve their reading and science skills. The Reading Web is correlated to the Common Core State Standards and supports the district’s CCSS initiatives as well.
The strides made by students in grades 3 through 5 at the district’s Lakeview Elementary School have recently been documented in a video (http://vimeo.com/rourkeeducational/readingwebtestimonial) and a 12-page study released by Rourke Educational Media. Data analysis shows:
- Reading scores indicate that 30 percent of English Language Learners (ELL) scored at or above grade level.
- Science scores indicate that 18 percent of ELL students reached level 3 or above.
“Since Reading Web is standards-based, participating students also became better prepared to succeed in both their science classes and on high-stake assessment,” said Dalia Medina, the district’s director of the multicultural education department “Based on these results, it proves that the Reading Web is an effective tool to be used as an ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) intervention program, and motivates the learners to be successful and competitive – academically as well as socially – with their peers.”
Lakeview Elementary School implemented Reading Web in November 2010, at which time students were reading significantly below grade level. By the end of March 2011, participating students increased their knowledge of new vocabulary in context from 25 to 60 percent. Based on their responses to multiple-choice questions, their reading comprehension of the text read increased from 40 to 75 percent. Based on textbook passages read, the average words per minute increased from 50.7 to 65percent.
Analysis from November 2011 though March 2012 showed significant improvement among participating students in vocabulary recognition (35 to 70 percent), reading comprehension (45 to 80 percent) and words per minute (58 to 70 percent).
Christopher Luciano, Lakeview Elementary’s ESOL paraprofessional, implemented Reading Web during the computer lab period for an average of 45 minutes per day, and quickly watched his students become “extremely engaged and excited about reading.” Classes commence at the end of March to allow students to get ready for the FCAT exams. After FCAT, students check the books from the Media Center for extended learning, and they also access the program from their homes to continue the learning process.
Luciano said his school witnessed significantly improved FCAT scores for 2011-12. A comparison of average scores shows that the percentage of ELLs scoring at level 3 and above (district-wide) increased at all grade levels. ELLs at Lakeview Elementary experienced higher increases than ELLs in the district as a whole and statewide.
The percentage of Osceola ELL students scoring Achievement Level 3 and above on FCAT-SSS Science in fifth grade increased from an average of 6 percent in 2011 to 18 percent in 2012. ELL students at Lakeview Elementary were able to show an increase of 50 percent in a two-year span.
Luciano said Reading Web “focuses on what students need – comprehension and vocabulary – and helps them accelerate their reading and learning.”
The School District of Osceola County has 71 schools and an enrollment of nearly 55,000, 25 percent of whom are ELL students.
About Rourke Educational Media
Rourke Educational Media LLC has been publishing eye-catching, engaging children’s books and classroom content complying with national curriculum standards since 1980. A global leader in educational technology, print, and distribution, Rourke Educational Media promotes literacy/reading for preK-12 market, and offers interactive ebooks, assessment tools, print resources and other learning resources for the classroom, library and parental involvement.
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Application Period Open for ‘School Library Program of Year’ Award
Honor to Support Excellence in School Libraries Co-Sponsored by AASL, Follett
MCHENRY, Ill., Oct. 9, 2013 – Follett and the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) today announced that applications are being accepted for the 2014 National School Library Program of the Year (NSLPY) Award. The competition is open to K-12 programs that are fully integrated into the school’s curriculum and meet the needs of the changing library environment.
Guided by AASL’s “Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Programs”, the NSLPY award seeks to reward and promote exemplary programs that empower learners to be critical thinkers, enthusiastic readers, skillful researchers and ethical users of information. Each winning school library program will receive $10,000, plus a crystal statue.
The award is co-sponsored by AASL and Follett, the largest provider of educational materials and technology solutions to PreK-12 libraries, classrooms, learning centers and school districts in the United States. Follett has a rich history in the school library space, and illustrates its advocacy for school libraries and their important role in improving literacy by supporting award programs such as this.
At this year’s American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago, the 2013 NSLPY Award winners were honored: Swan Valley High School (Saginaw, Mich.), Pennsylvania Avenue School (Atlantic City, N.J.), and New Augusta South Elementary School (Indianapolis).
“The process of applying for the NSLPY Award provided us with a valuable self-assessment tool,” said Kay Wejrowski, library media specialist, Swan Valley High. “The AASL visitation gave us the opportunity to reflect on our strengths as well as our challenges, while affording us the chance to learn from experts from around the country.”
Wejrowski added she applauds Follett and AASL for their continued partnership to promote literacy and help transform school libraries to meet the ever-changing needs of the communities they serve. “We are grateful to Follett and AASL, who have challenged us to create a culture of readers who are responsible and embrace a love of learning, and then developed a model for us to achieve that goal,” she said.
For more information on the NSLPY Awards or to apply, visit www.ala.org/aasl/awards/nslpy. The deadline to submit an application is Jan. 1, 2014.
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About Follett’s K-12 Business | www.follettlearning.com
Follett is the largest provider of educational materials and technology solutions to PreK-12 libraries, classrooms, learning centers and school districts in the United States, and a major supplier to educational institutions worldwide. Follett distributes books, reference materials, digital resources, ebooks and audiovisual materials, as well as pre-owned textbooks. Follett also is one of the leading providers of integrated educational technology for the management of physical and digital assets, the tracking, storing and analyzing of academic data, and digital learning environment tools for the classroom focusing on student achievement.
About Follett Corporation| www.follett.com
Since 1873, Follett has served as the trusted partner in education for students and educators at all levels of learning. Today Follett delivers physical and digital learning materials, retail services, school content and management systems to more than 70,000 early childhood, primary and secondary schools, and on more than 1,000 college campuses. Headquartered in River Grove, Illinois, Follett is a $2.7 billion privately held company.
NEWS FROM THE NATIUONAL COUNCIL FOR THE SOCIAL STUDIES
Critical Report Released Today by CIRCLE
The nationally recognized Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE) based at Tufts Univeristy’s Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, released today All Together Now: Collaboration and Innovation for Youth Engagement. The report is written by the Commission on Youth Voting and Civic Knowledge, a distinguished bipartisan group of scholars that provides recommendations for educators, parents and national, state and local policymakers on how to engage American youth.
In his concluding remarks, Peter Levine, Director of CIRCLE, mentioned today two large areas of need the report pointed to: policy innovation — the development of education policies that permit standards to be better and higher [order] thinking. He referred to NCSS’s College, Career and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards as an important vehicle in accomplishing some of that work; and increased collaboration — not putting all the burden on teacher’s shoulders, but rather sharing that responsibility among teachers, students, parents and community organizations in the form of multimember coalitions stressing the need of and working towards a high quality civics education.
From a press release received today, the following are more specific highlights from a press released on the report’s findings.
- Current levels of knowledgeable engagement by America’s youth remain too low. Less than half of young Americans vote, even in presidential elections, and just 10 percent of Americans between 18 and 24 met a standard of “informed engagement” in the 2012 presidential election cycle.
- Opportunities for civic learning and engagement are highly unequal. White, wealthy students are four to six times as likely as Hispanic or Black students from low-income households to exceed the “proficient” level on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in civics. Only 7 percent of students whose parents didn’t graduate from high school and who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch reached “proficient.”
- Civic education is increasingly viewed as controversial by the public. A quarter (24.8 percent) of the teachers surveyed by the Commission thought that parents or other adults in their community would object if politics was discussed in their course—even though they were asked about a course on government or civics taught during a presidential election year.
- Although highly controversial, voting laws have only small effects.Photo ID laws seemed to lower voting for young people who have not attended college. Same Day Voter Registration modestly, but reliably, boosts youth turnout. The overall effects of these laws are small compared to the larger challenges to engaging youth in democracy.
We encourage you to read the full report found at:
A report summary is available at: