WMU News

Reading program gives Michigan students a jump on state's elementary reading goals

August 20, 1998

KALAMAZOO -- Michigan Gov. John Engler wants Michigan children to read at or above grade level by the end of third grade. For more than 4,500 first-grade students who last year were part of an early intervention program called Reading Recovery, that goal was reached two years early.

The program, first introduced to Michigan by WMU reading specialists eight years ago, is intended to nip reading problems in the bud with 16 to 20 weeks of intensive one-on-one instruction in the first grade. The payoff has been remarkable. A full 85 percent of children involved read at or above their grade level at the end of their involvement -- and the reading strategies they master stay with them for the rest of their school years.

"Systematic, organized early intervention can interrupt the cycle of failure for students," says Joe R. Chapel, director of WMU's Dorothy J. McGinnis Reading Center and Clinic. For more about how Reading Recovery works, contact Chapel at (616) 387-3470.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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