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Educators know that an achievement gap exists between students of low-income and middle-income families, a gap that is especially evident in fourth grade and beyond. This essay explores issues related to this gap, including primary-level children being immersed in narrative text and, therefore, unprepared for the challenges of informational text and con- tent-specific vocabulary; lack of available material children are interested in reading; and limited reading opportunities created by a focus on high- stakes, test-preparation regimens.
360 Blueprint has designed a program that will target kids with low reading proficiencies to increase their chances at academic success in Washoe County. We understand that if a child is not "learning to read," they are not "reading to learn. Grade level reading is our goal.
So what is 360 Blueprint reading program all about? It is about creatively teaching kids to read where it is fun and creates a desire for students to read. Giving kids a love for reading is something that has to be strategically targeted in our culture and we are determined to do so. One research suggest, "Children in primary school need opportunities to select and read different types of texts including poetic, descriptive, narrative, and expository."
Our reading program will teach kids in each of these types of text of reading in order to broaden our kids scope of reading.
Reading and Relationship Curriculum includes:
- 1 Hour of Time
- 25 minutes of reading different text, which includes poetic, descriptive, narrative, and expository. Each child will be able to describe which type of text they are reading through our reading curriculum.
- 15 minutes of word vocabulary building. Students need to build a vocabulary of 5000 words a year, in which 360 Blueprint looks to narrow the gap of the at best 400 words a year average (Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002).
- 20 minutes of relationship building that targets conduct, peer influence and guidance seeking.
We are not only targeting what goes on in the classrooms, but also what goes on outside the classrooms with our relationship piece. We need caring people who cannot be replaced by computers to fill this void. There is no replacement for human interaction, which is very essential and significant in the lives of children.
Our goal is to equip and prepare our kids with these skills in order that they do not face the "eight Grade Cliff," of failing and on the sliding scale of dropping out of schools in coming years.