Florida Elementary School Makes Strides With Reading Web Program

Rourke Educational Media’s Reading Web program, designed to engage struggling 2nd-12th grade readers in developing their reading skills, has dramatically helped students in a central Florida elementary school to make strong gains in their vocabulary development, reading comprehension and reading fluency, as well as their proficiency in science.

The School District of Osceola County chose The Rourke Reading Web – a program that includes both software and books with a focus on a student’s fluency and vocabulary development – as a reading intervention program to help ELLs who scored at level 1 on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) Reading and Science to improve their reading and science skills. The Reading Web is correlated to the Common Core State Standards and supports the district’s CCSS initiatives as well.

The strides made by students in grades 3 through 5 at the district’s Lakeview Elementary School have recently been documented in a video (http://vimeo.com/rourkeeducational/readingwebtestimonial) and a 12-page study released by Rourke Educational Media. Data analysis shows:

  • Reading scores indicate that 30 percent of English Language Learners (ELL) scored at or above grade level.
  • Science scores indicate that 18 percent of ELL students reached level 3 or above.

“Since Reading Web is standards-based, participating students also became better prepared to succeed in both their science classes and on high-stake assessment,” said Dalia Medina, the district’s director of the multicultural education department “Based on these results, it proves that the Reading Web is an effective tool to be used as an ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) intervention program, and motivates the learners to be successful and competitive – academically as well as socially – with their peers.”

Lakeview Elementary School implemented Reading Web in November 2010, at which time students were reading significantly below grade level. By the end of March 2011, participating students increased their knowledge of new vocabulary in context from 25 to 60 percent. Based on their responses to multiple-choice questions, their reading comprehension of the text read increased from 40 to 75 percent. Based on textbook passages read, the average words per minute increased from 50.7 to 65percent.

Analysis from November 2011 though March 2012 showed significant improvement among participating students in vocabulary recognition (35 to 70 percent), reading comprehension (45 to 80 percent) and words per minute (58 to 70 percent).

Christopher Luciano, Lakeview Elementary’s ESOL paraprofessional, implemented Reading Web during the computer lab period for an average of 45 minutes per day, and quickly watched his students become “extremely engaged and excited about reading.” Classes commence at the end of March to allow students to get ready for the FCAT exams. After FCAT, students check the books from the Media Center for extended learning, and they also access the program from their homes to continue the learning process.

Luciano said his school witnessed significantly improved FCAT scores for 2011-12. A comparison of average scores shows that the percentage of ELLs scoring at level 3 and above (district-wide) increased at all grade levels. ELLs at Lakeview Elementary experienced higher increases than ELLs in the district as a whole and statewide.

The percentage of Osceola ELL students scoring Achievement Level 3 and above on FCAT-SSS Science in fifth grade increased from an average of 6 percent in 2011 to 18 percent in 2012. ELL students at Lakeview Elementary were able to show an increase of 50 percent in a two-year span.

Luciano said Reading Web “focuses on what students need – comprehension and vocabulary – and helps them accelerate their reading and learning.”

The School District of Osceola County has 71 schools and an enrollment of nearly 55,000, 25 percent of whom are ELL students.

More information about Rourke Educational Media is available at (800) 394-7055, or by visiting its website at www.rourkeeducationalmedia.com.