By Staff Reports
(Adelanto) – A local middle school has been awarded a 5-year, $150,000 grant from Project READ to implement a proven reading program. Columbia International Science, Math and Technology Magnet School spent three months working to win the grant that Principal Mike McGirr believes will have a significant impact on students and faculty.
“Based on the research, this is one of the most effective reading programs out there,” he explained. The “Read 180” program, along with “System 44”, replaces language arts and one elective for participating students. During the class, students rotate through three centers: an individual silent reading center with passages geared specifically to the interests of middle schoolers, a computer center with activities that target the unique learning needs of each student, and a teacher-led group center that provides quality instruction with a small group of students. Currently two teachers on campus are using this program; one regular language arts teacher, and one special education teacher.
The $150,000 grant will be disbursed over five years to cover four elements:
1) Regular visits from a coach who will work on helping all teachers with reading strategies,
2) Assistance for teachers to transition to the new Common Core curriculum,
3) Defraying the costs of the Read 180 program, and
4) A Site Implementation team to guide staff development and student instruction.
In the fifth year of the grant, exemplary schools will be selected to participate in presentations as an example of best practices. As one of only 10 schools selected statewide, Principal McGirr believes that Columbia students and teachers will show how effective this program can be. “Reading is one of the most crucial skills – it is a critical life skill for students,” McGirr stated.
The grant will take effect this year. Questions about the program at Columbia Middle School can be directed to the school office at 760-530-1950 or the Adelanto Elementary School District office at 760-246-8691. Find out more about the District at www.aesd.net, about Read 180 at http://read180.scholastic.com/reading-intervention-program, and about the Project READ grant at http://www.calstat.org/projectread.html.