Where Do We Go from Here? Comments from the Research Team: How Can You Apply What We Learned to Your Own After-School Reading Program?
How can we improve reading instruction nationwide? The methods that work to teach children to read are well understood. Since the political and economic pressures on schools are so great, it seems unlikely that schools will change. After-school community programs are most likely the answer to helping children learn to read. There is no limit to what we can accomplish if we put disproven, wrong ideas aside and work for the best interests of children. This chapter gives five steps that can lead to success.
The Reading Orienteering Club was many years in development, and has helped many children learn to read. Working with a small budget and the help of many dedicated volunteers, this program reached out to the community to help children. The schools and, sometimes, the parents had given up all hope, yet even children who had made no progress after years in school learned to read in the Reading Orienteering Club.
KeywordsService-learning Group-centered prevention Reading failure At-risk students Intrinsic motivation Efficacy retraining Phonemic awareness Academic failure violence prevention Program evaluation Implementation
Special appreciation to Keri Weed, Ph.D. and Sarah Stevens, Ph.D., University of South Carolina Aiken, for allowing their students to work on the project.
A special thank-you to St. John’s United Methodist Church in Aiken for providing community volunteers, and financial sponsorship, while allowing us to use classroom space for this project.
At the time of research, Keri Weed, Department of Psychology, University of South Carolina Aiken; Sarah Stevens, Department of Psychology, University of South Carolina Aiken.
Study presented in Elaine Clanton Harpine (Chair), Organizing community-based prevention programs in at-risk communities: University-community partnerships. (Clanton Harpine, 2010). Symposium conducted at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, San Diego, CA.
Elaine Clanton Harpine, Ph.D., was the director of the Camp Sharigan Project for 8 years. She developed the Camp Sharigan and Reading Orienteering Club programs and created the program packets for both programs.
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