OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 23, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- After successfully implementing the Fast ForWord(R) program in its elementary and middle schools for more than a decade, Eastwood Local School District in Pemberville, Ohio has expanded its use of the online reading intervention to meet the requirements of Ohio's Third Grade Reading Guarantee. Developed by Scientific Learning Corp. (SCIL), the Fast ForWord program is used in schools across Ohio and the nation to help students raise their reading skill level up to two years in as little as three months.
Ohio's Third Grade Reading Guarantee program helps identify kindergarten through third grade students who are behind in reading. To address the requirements of the new law and make sure students are on track for reading success by the end of third grade, Eastwood Local Schools has launched several initiatives, including a summer school program and a before school program that include the Fast ForWord online reading intervention.
"When we first adopted the Fast ForWord program, we saw an improvement in our reading scores almost immediately. Over the years, we have continued to achieve high reading scores and I attribute part of that to the Fast ForWord program," said Tom Lingenfelder, principal of Pemberville Elementary in Eastwood Local Schools. "Beginning in 2013-14, as part of Ohio's Third Grade Reading Guarantee, schools cannot promote students from third to fourth grade if they score below a certain level on the state reading test. The Fast ForWord program is an important part of our efforts to help students build the reading and cognitive skills they need to succeed."
As part of the district's new summer school program, at-risk students in kindergarten through grade four worked on the Fast ForWord program 40 minutes a day, five days a week for approximately four weeks. During the school year, at-risk students will also have the opportunity to work on the program for 40 to 50 minutes each morning before school.
In addition, as part of Pemberville Elementary's Fast ForWord implementation, all first graders participate in the Fast ForWord Language Series and all second graders participate in the Fast ForWord Language to Reading Series for approximately 10 weeks during the school year. Selected students in kindergarten, third grade and fourth grade also work on the Fast ForWord Reading Series to build and improve critical reading skills and cognitive skills like memory, attention, processing, and sequencing.
"A key benefit of the Fast ForWord program is that it's high-interest for students," said Lingenfelder. "Another benefit is that it allows us to provide reading instruction and intervention that can't be done in the regular classroom. In a class with one teacher and 25 students, how many times can a teacher call on a student to read a passage or to answer a comprehension question? But with the Fast ForWord program, a student can complete several hundred individualized reading exercises in a 40-minute session. Technology accelerates learning and that's very true of the Fast ForWord program."
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