Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Milwaukee Summer Reading Project

It takes a village to help make gains in reading. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 10/29/2011)

Excerpt: That's why she jumped at the chance for her school to be one of seven to participate in the Milwaukee Summer Reading Project, now in its second year.

The project was the result of local community leaders coming together in reaction to test scores that showed Wisconsin's African-American fourth-graders losing a lot of ground in reading while other states made gains, as measured by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the nation's report card.

"This was an opportunity for us to step up to the plate and take leadership in something that is critical to our children's future," said Howard Fuller, former Milwaukee Public Schools superintendent and head of the Institute for the Transformation of Learning at Marquette University, who convened the initial meeting.

"We needed to take responsibility to do something about the problem."

The six-week project, which began soon after the school year ended, offered intense instruction in several areas, including phonics and reading comprehension, while strengthening vocabulary and spelling skills.

"The first goal of the project was to provide incoming third- and fourth-grade students with summer instruction designed to maximize their reading improvement and prevent summer regression," said Monique Bell, director of the project, which hired instructors to conduct the project at each school's respective site

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