Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer
Parents of students in the Reading Recovery program at Steiner Elementary can involve themselves more in their first-graders’ education by viewing a 30-minute reading lesson given to their children.
Reading Recovery teachers assist students who need additional help with reading as first-graders. Shelly Buzard and Robbie Ferguson have been working as Ready Recovery instructors for three years. They are two of the six Reading Recovery teachers.
Buzard said the students are accepted into the program after evaluating components, such as a ranking from their kindergarten, an observation survey and the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills test results.
Students showing the need for assistance are in the course for 12 to 20 weeks. In the course, each student works one-on-one with the teacher for 30 minutes a day. Buzard said the Reading Recovery course extends into January or February then another pool of students is helped through the course.
There are 26 Steiner Elementary students who started the Reading Recovery Program this fall. On Tuesday afternoon, six-year-old Audrey Beverage read a book during her 30-minute session. Ferguson helped Beverage by having Beverage point to each word in the book as she was saying it.
During the session, Beverage played with her pony tail, something Perci Urias said is an outlet for Beverage as a result of the six-year-old girl being outgoing and having an active mind. Urias is Beverage’s grandmother.
“She learned the sounds real well,” Urias said about Beverage when the student was in kindergarten. “She had a little trouble with word recognition. Mrs. Ferguson has really helped her with word recognition.”
Beverage picked out a book to take home after the 30-minute session.
“I like to read ‘I Like Me,’” Beverage said. “It’s (session) good because it’s fun.”
Ferguson said the lesson plans are adjusted to the ability of the student and in some cases differ for the students depending on how fast they learn.
“One-on-one is great for her,” Urias said. “Mrs. Ferguson has been working with her in this program to stay on track. She’s (Beverage) really excited about it (Reading Recovery). She always makes sure she has her pink backpack with her books each morning.”
If a student achieves a certain reading level before the end of the 20 weeks, the student is removed from the course and another student needing additional reading help takes the place of the removed student.
“It’s tailored to each student,” Ferguson said. “We work with the child’s strengths and help them develop their self-esteem. We make sure they are reading and writing every day.”
Carolyn Howard, teacher leader of Reading Recovery, said Reading Recovery is an accelerated program for students who have difficulty learning how to read.
Ferguson and Buzard encourage family involvement in their child’s education when the children take books home. They encourage helping the child read at home and extend an open invitation for family members who want to see their child in one of the 30-minute sessions at Steiner Elementary.