September 20, 2004 Extra Credit
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September 20, 2004

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September 17
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Reading First: "It Gives Them A Tremendous Boost"

The No Child Left Behind Reading First program provides grants to states to help schools and local school districts improve children’s reading achievement through scientifically proven methods of instruction. The following are excerpts from an article in today’s Elko Daily Free Press (NV) highlighting how two schools in Elko County will benefit from Reading First:

"Two elementary schools in the Elko County School District have received federal grant money to improve reading skills. Southside Elementary and West Wendover Elementary, through the Elko County School District, have secured a multiyear federal Reading First grant that will be used to implement an extensive literacy program. ‘It is extremely valuable,’ said Mike Smith, the district’s director of school improvement. ‘Those two schools are some of our most at risk in terms of demographic status.’ State Education officials have placed West Wendover Elementary on the ‘at risk’ list for the second year and Southside is on the ‘watch’ list for the first year.

"‘The main intent of Reading First is to assist schools to make sure all students can read at or above grade level by the end of third grade,’ Smith said. ‘It gives them a tremendous boost.’ … District officials said the grant funding will potentially exceed $1 million over a period of four years, subject to federal appropriations, compliance with program requirements, and the demonstration of program effectiveness. "

"Smith said the grant will be used in several areas to improve students’ reading abilities. ‘It will do a lot of things,’ Smith said. ‘It will allow us to implement some different programs associated with reading.’ He said the funds would also be used for materials purchases and to use assessment material to determine progress."

"Two literacy specialists have been hired to carry out the significant requirements of the grant and will be on staff at each of the participating schools, a district news release said. These individuals will participate in extensive monthly state training sessions. In turn, they will offer professional development opportunities to the faculty at their school, providing literacy-rich training.

"The No Child Left Behind Act signed into law by president George W. Bush on Jan. 8, 2002, established Reading First as a new, high-quality evidence-based program for the students of America. The initiative builds on the findings of years of scientific research, which, at the request of the Congress, were compiled by the National Reading Panel."


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NCLB Extra Credit is a regular look at the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's landmark education reform initiative passed with bipartisan support in Congress.

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Last Modified: 08/13/2013