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CEHD researchers, alums at forefront of closing reading achievement gap

Maria Rios.jpgAs more data show the increasing need to address literacy issues for children across the state, CEHD researchers and alums are on the front lines with hands-on, innovative approaches. In a Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) story, recent alumna Maria Rios (B.S., family social science) is noted as one of about 800 AmeriCorps members in the Minnesota Reading Corps, which is providing tutoring to early readers this year in selected schools.

Among those Minnesota schools to intensely focus on teaching reading in the third grade is the Mississippi Creative Arts Magnet School in St. Paul, where 92 percent of students are from impoverished homes. Only a quarter of the students speak English as their first language. Still, the school's reading scores rose 6 percent this year.

Part of the credit, according to the MPR story, goes to the extra one-on-one help students receive from tutors like Rios (pictured).

Through an ongoing partnership with the Reading Corps, Minnesota Center for Reading Research faculty and graduate students are providing ongoing coaching and support over the next three years of Path to Reading Excellence in School Sites (PRESS), a Minneapolis Public Schools program developed by CEHD faculty. Aimed at preparing all students in Minneapolis to read by the third grade, PRESS is a research-based approach to literacy. The district announced its partnership last spring with Target Foundation, which is donating $6 million to district literacy programs over the next three years. See more on this story here.

Other faculty from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction have had success in improving reading tests scores among middle-school students in Minneapolis Public Schools. They have been working with literacy leaders, teachers, and literacy coaches at the grade 6-8 level for the past several years, helping to implement a formal reading program targeted at middle school students who were not performing up to grade level in reading. See their story here.

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