Charlene Koplin, a 23 year veteran of the classroom, works with students who, for one reason or another, are reading below grade level. In her efforts to teach literacy to those students at Granite High School in Salt Lake City, Utah, she has found that getting back to the basics of an explicit, systematic phonics curriculum has been the key to a successful remedial reading program. Reading Horizons has been that phonics program that has aided her efforts.
When she first started teaching Reading Horizons, Koplin’s goal was for each student to raise his or her reading score by one grade level during the school year. However, after just four weeks’ time, she was amazed to discover that there had already been two to three years’ worth of progress.
“I thought, ‘No, there is no way this is really happening,’ she recalls. “But it happened over and over and over with these students. I just couldn’t believe it. (The students) got really charged.”
Since then, Koplin has worked with many more students who have experienced phenomenal grade level gains with Reading Horizons. One student struggled with severe dyslexia, and, as a result, his reading and writing skills had not progressed beyond a second grade level.
“He worked so hard at this,” she relates, “and I thought, ‘I’m afraid to promise him (success).’ But he is reading at an eighth-grade level now. (His) written language is up to fifth grade, which is a miracle.”
Koplin continues to see the kind of invaluable effects that Reading Horizons has had on her students in the classroom every day.
“To have a student (who) is at a kindergarten level as a junior be able to read now at the fifth grade level,” she says, “to hear (students) say they want to go to college, and ... have the confidence now that they can – you can’t put a value on that.”