Liberty Elementary – Riverside, CA
Judy, a Project Read® teacher and trainer, wrote about the tremendous improvement she saw within six weeks of implementing the curriculum. She writes:
“When we began, none of these students could consistently blend or segment two sounds. They could not identify the first, middle, or end sound of a word. They did not understand how letters or punctuation worked, and could not consistently respond to alphabet questions. These students received daily intervention for 6 weeks, for a total of 22 hours. Improvement in all areas is evident. Every student can consistently blend, segment, and identify the location of syllables. Most attend to punctuation, especially the comma and exclamation mark. Now they correct each other’s work, and they love to read and spell!”
Clemson Elementary – Clemson, SC
Barry, a fifth grade Project Read teacher, wrote about the success he saw in his classroom after a year of using the Framing Your Thoughts curriculum. He writes:
“The fifth grade students at Clemson were instructed with the Framing Your Thoughts Curriculum during the 2006-2007 school year. The multisensory strategies were beneficial to all students, from the academically gifted to the low-achieving students. We used the systematic approach to teach the function of the language and then transferred those skills to composition writing. All students were actively engaged throughout every lesson. Students were excited about writing. They enjoyed the body language along with the hands-on approaches.
Students would tell me:
‘I finally understand how our language works!’
‘Writing is so much fun now that I know how to put my thoughts down on paper!’
‘After learning how to put words into sentences, I am actually a good writer!’
The evidence from our scores on the state PACT test shows that students were extremely successful in the area of Language Arts. Not only did they perform well on the test, but their confidence in their ability to write was tremendous. I am so thankful to be able to use the FYT Curriculum with our students!”
Fernbrook School – Randolph, NJ
Elaine, an administrator at Fernbrook School and a long-time advocate of the Project Read® curriculum, wrote a letter to the authors of Project Read describing her satisfaction with the program. She writes:
“I had the privilege of taking the Project Read Phonology and Linguistics trainings back in the 80’s and again in the early 90’s, and from the beginning I was instantly sold. I believe in the merits of this program. Over the course of the years that I have been using the Project Read curriculum, I have experienced a positive transformation of children’s lives, countless success stories, and positive feedback from numerous parents. Currently, we are in our 8th year of teaching the Project Read curriculum and it has again proven to be extremely successful. We have a diverse population of students at Fernbrook; many come into our school with little or no English background or from low-economic status with no prior enriched language experiences. With the help of the Project Read curriculum, students have made substantial improvements. Their progress is reflected by their ability to generalize what they learned from the Project Read curriculum and integrate these skills into our traditional reading program. In fact, I am proud to inform you that our school was recognized and honored with the ‘Literacy For All’ Award this year, sponsored by the New Jersey International Dyslexia Association.”
Boston Renaissance Charter Public School – Boston, MA
Implementation of Project Read Program 2003-2010
Boston Renaissance Charter Public School is a large urban school in the city of Boston with a high-poverty, 99% minority population. 79% receive free or reduced lunch and the majority of students are African-American. With over 1,000 students in K-6, it is one of the largest elementary charter schools in the nation.
The school is required by the state to monitor student progress with a consistent benchmarking system which demonstrated rising test scores.
- Instruction with Project Read® Phonics resulted in immediate behavioral management success in many classrooms by helping to create a climate with focused and engaged students.
- Significant gains were measured in fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.
- Teachers enjoyed teaching the curriculum, and noticed students mastering skills that they had previously been unable to achieve.
- Project Read curriculums are an integral part of regular classroom instruction and are a highly successful RTI model as well.
St. Stanislaus School – Williamstown, MA
The Reading Institute External Evaluation Study 2008-2009
St. Stanislaus Kostka School (St. Stans) has an enrollment of 144 students ranging from pre-K through 8th grade. Each grade is made up of one class, with class sizes ranging from 10-20 students. Beginning in the 2008-2009 academic year, St. Stans adopted a scientifically-based core reading program that addressed the five components of literacy as identified by the National Reading Panel.
Using leveled and decodable readers as well as weekly leveled selections, students frequently interacted with text to learn and practice phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension skills. In addition to the core reading program, teachers were trained in, and had access to Project Read® materials. Teachers were expected to incorporate Project Read direct instruction and multisensory strategies.
In an effort to determine student response to reading instruction and the value added of tiered RTI supportive reading instruction, the Group Reading Assessment of Diagnostic Evaluation (GRADE), a developmentally-based, group-administered assessment of reading, was given during the fall and spring of the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 academic years.
Analysis of the data indicates that the combination of core and supportive literacy instruction was strongly associated with statistically significant gains throughout the school year in the areas of phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Significant gains across all grade levels, suggesting that the literacy program was appropriately administered in accordance with the changing developmental needs of students.
Mt. Holly Elementary – Rock Hill, SC
Mt. Holly Elementary School in Rock Hill, SC recently received an award for having the Highest Pass Rate on the state PASS test in the area of ELA for students with disabilities. Mrs. Diane Sligh, resource teacher from Mt. Holly, has used the entire Project Read curriculum since the fall of 2008. Sligh attributes student success to Language Circle/Project Read programs.
TESTIMONIAL FOR PROJECT READ
Resource Teacher: Diane Sligh
“I implemented Project Read for my students during 2008-2009 and continue to use all three Project Read strands. My students have made significant gains in both reading and writing. I would like to express my complete satisfaction and joy at finding this gem of a program. For the past 25 years, I have used several well-known reading and writing programs to teach my students. However, I have not found a program as effective as the Project Read curriculum.
The Project Read program provides everything that I need to implement a quality reading and writing program. It is a complete package and so easy to use. I love how this program uses the VAKT strategies to actively engage my students in each lesson. This curriculum, which includes a wealth of different language learning activities, is brilliantly designed and tailor-made to fit the needs and learning styles of different children. I have watched struggling readers and writers develop self-confidence, actively participate in class, and become strong, confident readers. I know I will always be a great supporter of this wonderful program.”
Marshalltown Community School District – Marshalltown, IA
By Lora Kester
The 2009-2010 school year was an exciting one for K-6 teachers and students in Marshalltown, IA. The district moved to a full implementation of Framing Your Thoughts, Sentence Structure and Applied Writing. Student and teacher response was remarkable!
With this program in place, students and teachers were equally satisfied: students enjoy learning the structure of writing, while teachers feel they have a grasp on “how” to teach writing skills. The components that make Framing Your Thoughts unique from other programs are why it is working so well in Marshalltown. The visual, auditory, tactile, kinesthetic, and body language strategies that are incorporated into every lesson help to meet the needs of all learners. The direct teaching of concepts enables all students to obtain the skills necessary to become successful writers.
- 61% poverty rate district-wide
- Some buildings have poverty rates near 90%
- 50% ELL population district-wide
- Some buildings have ELL populations near 80%
- One elementary building has a transition rate of over 50%
IMPLEMENTATION OF FRAMING YOUR THOUGHTS:
- 2006-2007 – Three teachers attended a workshop in Bloomington and “sold” the program to their principal and the district. A pilot project began at one elementary school.
- 2007-2008 – A second school was added and teachers were trained.
- 2008-2009 – A third and fourth school were added and teachers were trained.
- 2009-2010 – All elementary schools were brought onboard (6 elementary schools and 1 intermediate school) to include K-6 grades. Teachers were trained.
- Students enjoyed the structure of the program and the power of knowing how words function in a sentence.
- Teachers felt they had a grasp on “how” to teach writing.
- Teachers were grateful to have a consistent program that they knew everyone was teaching.
Data was collected on a monthly basis for one elementary school. Monthly in-service was provided and accountability was built in with monthly probes.
Wakefield Elementary School – South Kingstown, RI
Writing Scores Soar at Wakefield Elementary School
At a recent Learning Walk at Wakefield Elementary School, principals and administrators congregated to analyze how professional development, instructional practices, and curriculum worked in concert to raise fifth-grade NECAP writing proficiency levels from 61% in 2005 to 93% in 2007.
Developing excellent writers is clearly a focus at Wakefield. Examples of students’ written work fill hallways and classrooms. Students and adults alike take time to read the displays.
Teachers across grade levels, including resource teachers, integrate the objectives outlined in “Write Traits? writing curriculum with explicit scope and sequence developed by Project Read® Written Expression. Curriculum implementation is responsive to the needs of students in each classroom. The multisensory, systematic approach found in Project Read® material breaks through memory and language barriers that can prevent students from successful writing production.
Professional development for teachers has been critical. In the fall of 2006, Wakefield Elementary/South Kingstown Schools initiated a partnership with the Dunn Institute to bring a Project Read training to South County. 90% of Wakefield teachers spent three days participating in the Written Expression strand. Simultaneously, teachers participated in district-wide “Write Traits” training over the course of two years.
Internally, a Writing Committee (led by fifth-grade teacher Robin Wildman and first-grade teacher Jeanne Congdon) set assessment schedules connected to grade-level benchmarks. Grade-level teams assessed student writing and analyzed specific areas of student strength, weakness, and aggregate trends. Alison Bateson-Toupin, SLP, provides leadership for the Project Read® curriculum by mentoring, co-teaching, and helping teachers deliver content with fidelity.
By working together, teacher-leaders take pressure off the faculty by streamlining processes, focusing teachers and keeping things as simple as possible. They also strive to support faculty creativity and innovation with respect to lesson delivery.
Bateson-Toupin credits Project Read Written Expression curriculum with empowering teachers in the general classroom setting, providing the necessary effective support for partially proficient writers to reach benchmark levels while decreasing the number of students who require intensive intervention. She also believes that the systematic scope and sequence has simultaneously enabled proficient writers to reach distinction benchmarks.