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The Road to Reading

The Road to Reading series explores some of the reading activities you'll find in our schools as well as difficulties students may face when learning to read. The series also examines early childhood ties to literacy and new initiatives to help all children read. The Grand Rapids Public Library is the proud supporter of The Road to Reading Series.

Claudio Sanchez, education correspondent for NPR, and Mike Nassar, director of the Community Literacy Initiative

Reading Law Adds Urgency to Literacy Summit

As a National Public Radio education correspondent, Claudio Sanchez is used to asking the thorny questions and then questioning the answers. He spied an opening during an interval at the Literacy Center of West Michigan's sixth annual Community Literacy...

Reading initiative shows early positive results

Where there is a problem, there is a solution. So when scores indicated that many Cedar Trails Elementary students would not meet state of Michigan reading guidelines, the school implemented a Reading Now Network program customized for its students. With guidance...

Librarians Ready to Share ‘Joy of Reading’

Chelsea McCoy dives headfirst into imagination: wildly, enthusiastically, getting right on the floor with youngsters. It’s clear she wants to help them cultivate a love of reading. McCoy asks a lot of questions: about the last book they read, their...
Kent ISD early literacy coach Katie Momber works with a Godfrey-Lee student (Photo courtesy of Kyle Mayer)

Grant Project Aims to Boost Third-grade Reading

In an effort to improve third-grade reading proficiency, the district will receive $20,000 to implement instructional practices recommended by Reading Now Network over the next two-and-half years. An instructional team of about a dozen literacy experts from all over the...

Super Readers Save the Day!

There are new superheroes in town, and with the point of a popsicle stick, the zoom-in ability of hyper-focused eyes and ears, and the ability to know words in a "snap," they are flying through their reading levels. Districtwide, kindergartners...

When Monsters Call and Teachers Read, Students Listen

The shared love of a book was on display in English teacher Shantel VanderGalien's eighth-grade honors class as she read aloud from "A Monster Calls." Creating a monster voice with a plummy British accent, VanderGalien revealed her theatrical side. The...

Reading Well Predicts Student Success

Ten-year-old Erika Bradford knows how important it is to find ways to make reading easier. "I think the reason kids don't like any subject is because they are struggling with it," Erika said. "I used to hate reading and I...

Low Test Scores & Low Income Linked; Staff Seek to Help

At Godfrey-Lee Public Schools, the Kent County district with the lowest family income, the correlation between M-STEP scores and poverty is stark. More than 90 percent of students qualify for free or reduced priced lunch in the one-square mile...

‘Reading with a Purpose’ Helps Students Learn

Rebecca Ophoff’s 25 fourth-graders are following along an article at their desks as she asks them what kind of writing it is. “What makes it expository? How do you know?” the Stocking School teacher asks. “Kylee?” Kylee stands and offers, “Because...

Turn, Talk and Listen

Kindergartner Vincent Reatini looked up from his book, “Froggy Builds a Tree House,” which he couldn’t read much of yet. But asked for his favorite part, he promptly pointed to one page and said, “This is my favorite part,...

Boosting Student Reading Takes Center Stage

While it isn't clear if nationally renowned researcher Richard Allington was excited to see staff from the school district where he started his career, it is clear that literacy coach Kathy Arlen and elementary Principal Pamela Thomas were interested...

Laser Focus on Reading Produces Good Results

At Grandville's East Elementary School, their double-digits gains in the M-STEP third- and fourth-grade reading scores was driven home by Principal Ana Aleman-Putman's determination to push for excellence. That's despite 71 percent of East's students qualifying for free and...

Tips to Parents: How to Help Your Child’s Reading

Plenty of books in the house. Nightly story time. Exposure to words, words and more words. Those are three components that help a child develop reading skills from birth on, and the more a child reads the better in correlates...

Schools Gear Up to Prepare for Third-Grade Reading Law

During a recent Literacy Night at Oriole Park Elementary School, teachers dressed like superheroes, activating their powers to help parents best support their children’s reading development. Students also donned capes and masks, ready to soar up, up and away...

High-Achieving Reading: How One School Does It

Brown Elementary School fourth-grader Layla Funk looked up from the book she was reading to consider the question: “How has your school helped you become a great reader?” “You have to have a good book you like with you and...

Revving Up Reading, Writing with Workshops

A renaissance of reading and writing is going on at West Middle School, where teachers say students are indulging in books they love more than ever and learning a lot, page by page. They regularly peruse eighth-grade English Language...
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