Worcester schools institute reading intervention program

Worcester Public Schools in Worcester, Mass. has selected a reading intervention program to help elementary and secondary students improve critical reading and language skills.

The urban district, which enrolls 23,988 students in 44 schools, launched Scientific Learning's Fast ForWord software in September in six elementary schools, two middle schools, two high schools, and one alternative center. At each school, the software is used by diverse student populations, including English language learners (ELL), students with learning disabilities, and students working below, at or above grade level. Students work on the program 30 minutes a day in school computer labs, which are staffed by a teacher and a lab coach.

“While we’ve only been running the Fast ForWord program since the beginning of the school year, we’ve seen students in three different schools achieve more than a year-and-a-half of growth in 28 days,” said Dr. Sergio Páez, manager of English language learners and supplemental support services for Worcester Public Schools. “Students who have had a difficult time sitting in a classroom environment are immediately engaged in the computer lab because they know Fast ForWord is individualized to their needs."

Fast ForWord is a reading intervention program for K-12 education institutions and clinical specialists whose students are reading below grade level. The program is designed to develop and and strengthens memory, attention, processing rate, and sequencing—the cognitive skills essential for reading intervention program success. Fast ForWord reading intervention products support existing curriculum and are aligned to No Child Left Behind state mandates.

"Our teachers, lab coaches, and principals are very satisfied with the program and the results they’re seeing," added Dr. Paez."We think the program will pay great dividends and help more students increase their capacity to learn and improve their literacy skills.”