Extending Learning Time for Disadvantaged Students - Volume 2 Profiles of Promising Practices - 1995

A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

Title I Summer Program For Private School Children

Beaverton, Oregon

Key Characteristics


More than 50 Title I-eligible students from nonpublic elementary schools enroll each summer in a four- to five-week reading program sponsored by the Beaverton Title I program. Thematic studies provide a framework for reading and writing activities that improve student attitudes and achievement and encourage parent participation in education. The summer school, begun in 1986, targets students in grades 1-8 who have difficulty reading, as well as their parents who often have little confidence in their ability to help. The program's goals are to stimulate higher-order thinking skills, overall reading competence, and social skills, and to engage parents in supporting student learning.

School Context

Beaverton is an ethnically diverse suburb of Portland, Oregon, that enrolls 28,000 students in 42 public schools. Sixteen schools in the district are Title I schools, with poverty rates ranging from 25 percent to 65 percent. Beaverton also has 10 private schools, which are attended by some students who live in areas served by Title I-eligible schools. The Title I summer program for private school children began in 1988 and now serves 55 students in grades 1-8. Most of the students are Anglo; approximately 10 percent are Hispanic or Asian American.

Major Program Features

Implementation Issues

The program's biggest challenge was convincing parents of Title I students that summer school can help their children's attitude and performance, given the program's short duration. Attracting enough students for the first summer school in 1986 was difficult, but the problem diminished after parents realized how intensive the program is and initial positive results led to word-of-mouth recommendations.

Evidence of Success

Pre- and post-program tests show a dramatic increase in students' use of effective reading strategies; the tests measure both frequency and appropriateness of the strategies used. In the pretest, between 25 percent and 50 percent of the participants were seldom or never observed using one or more of the strategies, and about 30 percent used them only sometimes. In the post-test, more than 60 percent of the students used three of the four strategies whenever appropriate; overall, fewer than 10 percent failed to use them at all. In several smaller subtests, students demonstrated the ability to use good reading strategies to make sense of unfamiliar or relatively difficult texts. These results have been consistent since the program's inception in 1988.
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