It seems like our schools get thrown some version of “new” every year - new teachers, administrators, students, curriculum, and initiatives. So it didn’t come as much of a surprise when some New York City public school administrators and teachers pushed back when they were introduced to another new reading program, namely Reading Horizons.
The Reading Horizons reading system has been part of a pilot program in select New York City schools for the past year now and the transformation has been incredibly rewarding.
Originally championed by Janine Walker Caffrey, a NYC network administrator, author, and public speaker who had experienced past successes using explicit, systematic phonics, the Reading Horizons reading software is winning over students and teachers.
In order to improve established common core standards and ensure college-readiness for 1.1 million students in 1,700 schools, the NYC Board of Education has determined that the following reading criteria must be met:
- Basic Literacy Skills
Take for example, the Green School in Brooklyn that serves some of the most disadvantaged children in the city. Most students attending here were born in the U.S., but the majority of them are reading significantly below grade level. Many of the students have been retained twice and have become extremely disengaged resulting in attendance problems.
Educators have found that Reading Horizons is the hook that is bringing students back into the school. This is quite a suprise and has required a mind shift for the teachers. In the past, the tactic was to appeal to the students’ individual interests like art and music. As it turns out… learning to read is the lure that is bringing students back.
“What I love most about the Green School is that the teachers have transformed more than the kids. This was a school that was beaten down and now they know that they have the tools… the power to make a significant difference in the lives of their students.” – Janine Caffrey
The future for students in the New York school networks looks promising. In fact, the dramatic changes occurring in reading advances and other areas is more than promising, it is life changing.
How are you using basic, core reading fundamentals to change the world?