“Reading Rockets” Pilot Blasts Off to a Great Start!
September 15, 2015
This summer, a group of Northfield elementary students got a special “boost” in reading through a pilot initiative of the Northfield Promise Reading Team and the PRIMEtime out-of-school-time network. Working to reverse the summer academic slide, “Reading Rockets” ran as part of the Summer PLUS program at Greenvale Park Elementary School. Thirty students who were behind grade level in reading spent two hours each morning working with licensed teachers on their reading, utilizing fun and interactive activities. The teachers also hosted family workshops and made three home visits with all participating families to go over reading strategies.
The project is modeled after a nationally recognized effort out of the Springboard Collaborative in Philadelphia. It recognizes the vital role that parents play as the chief educators of their children – and notes that parents are often left out of the equation when we look for solutions to improve student literacy.
In Reading Rockets, students who met attendance requirements, took part in the supplemental reading activities at home, and saw growth on their reading scores were rewarded with incentives throughout the summer.
The results from the first year pilot are encouraging. Whereas the summer slide can cause students to slip backwards during the summer months, 88% of students completing the program showed growth on their Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) reading tests. In fact, 56% met or surpassed their identified fall 2015 growth targets.
Funding for the Reading Rockets pilot was provided by the Women In Northfield Giving Support (WINGS), Northfield Area United Way, and State of Minnesota (through a direct appropriation to the Educational Partnerships Coalition).