Monday, October 1, 2012

Wellsville's Garfield Introduces "Success For All"

Garfield First Grader Kaylee Rawson shows
dad Joe, sister McKenna and mom Shelly
her reading books

Students and staff of Wellsville’s Garfield Elementary School held an open house this past Thursday to demonstrate their new “Success for All” reading program.  The program was made possible with an $84,000 grant awarded from the Success for All company that wrote and developed the program to assist students in their reading education.   The grant was written by Garfield Principal Lisa Ferguson and applied for last year.  It paid for over 80% of the cost of the new program.  The new reading program was introduced at the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year. 

First Grade Garfield teacher Heidi
Schmidbauer demonstrates some of
the fundamentals of new reading program
at recent open house
The Success for All program has been enthusiastically accepted by both teachers and students alike, proud of their accomplishments made possible with the program so early in the new school year.   It combines new technology with old fashion teaching techniques.  Using white boards and sound cards the program demonstrates how words are sounded out by their spelling.  Students then practice using partner practice books.  Students’ progress is tracked and Ferguson commented that in the first nine weeks of the new school year 72% of Garfield’s 256 students are on track.  The program uses 90 minutes of each school day dedicated to reading only.  Tutoring is available for students lagging behind in their individual advancement. 

This past summer Principal Ferguson and Garfield teacher Lori Klakos spent a week in Baltimore being instructed on how to run the program.  All Garfield teachers voluntarily gave up three days of their summer vacation for their indoctrination learning the new program.  City schools in Steubenville, Ohio, have been using the system for 10 years now and are acting as mentors to the Wellsville District teachers.  On the state grading system the Steubenville School System is in the top three throughout Ohio.

The aim of the program is to have all students in compliance with the new state law known as the Third Grade Guarantee.  That law went into effect August 24 and requires that all third grade students must be reading on a third grade level by the end of the school year before then can be promoted. 

From the enthusiasm we witnessed last Thursday we were impressed that will not be a problem at the elementary school.  It’s one of the reasons why “Garfield ROARS!”…

ole nib

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