Federal grant to provide reading tutors in Carroll

January 23, 1998|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,SUN STAFF

Children who lag behind in reading skills in kindergarten and first grade will be getting extra one-on-one help starting this spring through a $250,000 federal grant just awarded to Carroll County schools.

The money will be used to provide daily tutoring for 15 to 20 minutes for pupils who are in the lowest 25 percent of the class in reading skills.

"We wanted to advance those lowest-performing children, so they can exit first grade as competent and confident readers," said Dorothy Mangle, director of elementary education. Mangle wrote the grant proposal for the project, called Advancing Early Literacy.

"If they don't leave first grade having established those critical reading skills, they'll always be playing catch-up after that," she said.

By second and third grades, pupils should be reading in all subjects to gain information. The presumption is that they know how to read, and they become responsible for knowing the content of what teachers assign them to read.

The grant is for the rest of this school year and for next year, but with a chance to seek renewal. Mangle is moving quickly: Teachers will start assessing children next month, and those needing help the most will be identified in March and April.

"If we can demonstrate we've made a positive difference, we can reapply for a continuance," Mangle said. "This could take us to 2001."

Mangle said that despite Carroll's many successes and good VTC reputation, too many children aren't reaching their potential to read, based on state and national tests.

She wants to see 95 percent of those children reading at grade level.

Pub Date: 1/23/98

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