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|BCSC and Community Partners Announce “Read by 3 Columbus”|
A Pilot Program to Improve Reading and Learning in Bartholomew County
COLUMBUS, Indiana – To help develop stronger reading skills among children, Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation (BCSC), with support from R.E.A.D.S., the MA Rooney Foundation and representatives of Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI), launched the pilot program, “Read by 3 Columbus.”
Read by 3 Columbus is modeled after Read by 3 Indianapolis, a partnership of the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS), M.A. Rooney Foundation and United Way of Central Indiana. The principal focus of Read by 3 Indianapolis is a 45 minute daily systematic, explicit, multi-sensory instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics and fluency. The teaching methodology is based on extensive research and has shown tremendous success in the IPS schools.
The Columbus program was implemented at the start of the 2014-2015 school year and is being piloted in six kindergarten classrooms at Taylorsville Elementary and Columbus Signature Academy-Lincoln Campus.
“When the group of parents and community partners brought forward the idea of extending the pilot to BCSC, we were struck by the strong results at IPS,” said Teresa Heiny, Director of Elementary Education at BCSC. “We know how important it is to get our students to read at grade level in the primary grades since this directly impacts their ability to graduate on time from high school. We are pleased to be in partnership with all of these groups and look forward to monitoring the progress of the children in the pilot.”
The impetus for launching the pilot in Columbus, Indiana came from a recently created grassroots organization called R.E.A.D.S., (Recognizing Educating and Advocating for Dyslexic Students) who helped highlight the need to help dyslexic children in the community.
Dyslexia affects one in five people and results in difficulty with reading. The affected children, of normal intelligence and capabilities, often need intervention to learn to read at grade level. Studies have shown that children who are not reading at grade level by third grade are four times as likely not to graduate as children who read at grade level.
“The program was born after a number of community partners came together to address the needs of local dyslexic students in the school system,” said Brian Mormino, an Executive Director at Cummins and father of a dyslexic child in BCSC. “It is personal for me as I know the sacrifices that we made as a family to get our son the extra reading assistance that he needed especially given the lack of resources here in Bartholomew County. Our research discovered a pilot program in Indianapolis that was showing promising results in helping not only dyslexic but all children to read.”
A dedicated part-time coach was brought on board at BCSC to administer the pilot and work with the teachers at each of the schools. Teachers and aides were trained in the methodology over the summer and began teaching the lessons immediately to the students.
“We have been implementing the multi-sensory pilot since the second day of school and have already seen significant growth by our students in a short time,” said Callie Strickland, a kindergarten teacher at Taylorsville. “Due to the systematic routines in the daily lessons, our students have already become very comfortable with the structure and know what to expect each day. I am very excited to see how the Read by 3 Columbus pilot will help all of my students become better readers, writers and spellers throughout this school year.”
The Rooney Foundation is the author of the lesson plans being used in the BCSC program. In addition, they supplied the teacher training and materials and are providing overall support for the program.
“Our mission is simple and clear, to ensure that all kids are reading at grade level,” said Therese Rooney, President of the M.A. Rooney Foundation. “We love the opportunity to come along side school systems and community partners to help children read. We are confident in the systematic and explicit, multi-sensory teaching methodologies and will continue to play an active role with BCSC and the teachers to ensure the pilot is a success.”
Throughout the school year, the teachers will continue to receive professional development and assistance from the coach to ensure the strategies are properly implemented and effective. The progress of the students will be monitored regularly. The intent is to expand the pilot in future years to include first and second grade students as well as other schools if the data shows the progress that is expected.
Cummins Inc., a global power leader, is a corporation of complementary business units that design, manufacture, distribute and service diesel and natural gas engines and related technologies, including fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation systems. Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana, (USA) Cummins currently employs approximately 48,000 people worldwide and serves customers in approximately 190 countries and territories through a network of approximately 600 company-owned and independent distributor locations and approximately 6,500 dealer locations. Cummins earned $1.48 billion on sales of $17.3 billion in 2013. Press releases can be found on the Web at www.cummins.com or www.cumminsengines.com. Follow Cummins on Twitter at @Cummins and on YouTube at Cummins Inc.
Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation, BCSC, is a public school district serving grades PK-12 in Bartholomew County, Indiana. The reported enrollment of BCSC is 11,770. The superintendent is Dr. John Quick. BCSC demonstrates a community commitment to deeper learning for one… and all. More information on BCSC can be found on the Web at www.bcsc.k12.in.us.
About M. A. Rooney Foundation
Founded in 1969, the M. A. Rooney Foundation is dedicated to educational initiatives, particularly aiding educators achieve early childhood literacy (Read by 3 – 3rd Grade). Through partnerships with schools, community organizations and the Indiana Department of Education, the Rooney Foundation is providing educators with professional learning, strategic planning and data tools to foster student achievement. Committed to all children reading by 3rd Grade, the Foundation operates in the spirit of “Teach a man to fish…” The organization’s website is www.marooneyfoundation.org.
R.E.A.D.S (Recognizing, Educating, and Advocating for Dyslexic Students) is a non-profit organiation serving Columbus, IN and surrounding area. R.E.A.D.S. operates under the fiduciary of The Arc of Bartholomew County. Founded in 1955, The Arc of Barholomew County is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that provides advocacy and resources to individuals and their families in Bartholomew County. The organization’s website is www.columbusinread.org.