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November 24, 2003, Extra Credit
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November 24, 2003
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 November 21
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In Corsicana, Texas, NCLB Reading First Program Is Helping The Bottom 30 Percent of Readers

As recently reported by the Corsicana Daily Sun, the Corsicana ISD in Texas has "landed a Reading First Initiative grant during the second round of funding which will provide up to $2 million over six years that will benefit kindergarten through third-grade students."

According to the paper, "a large portion of the money will be used for professional staff development in order to target the bottom 30 percent of readers in the district. ... The teaching model will be based on a three-tier system which will provide teachers with an uninterrupted 90-minute class period daily in which to focus on the five essential components of reading. Following testing and assessments, students who are still struggling to read will move into the Tier II arena where they will receive an extra half hour of supplemental reading instruction daily in the classroom."

A key component of the No Child Left Behind law, Reading First provides grants to help schools and districts improve children's reading achievement through scientifically proven methods of instruction. Every Reading First grant application must pass 25 specific criteria to ensure that instruction features:

  • Phonemic Awareness: The ability to hear and identify individual sounds in spoken words.
  • Phonics: The relationship between the letters of written language and the sounds of spoken language.
  • Fluency: The capacity to read text accurately and quickly.
  • Vocabulary: The words students must know to communicate effectively.
  • Comprehension: The ability to understand and gain meaning from what has been read.
The complete article was published in the November 21, 2003 edition of the Corsicana Daily Sun. It is no longer available online.

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Last Modified: 07/28/2006