Nearly 900 California Schools Implement Reading Program

Seeking to make reading proficiency and comprehension a priority, nearly 900 schools throughout California have implemented the Lexia Reading program, which helps students in grades pre-K through 12 improve their reading skills while offering teachers a tool for fully integrated assessment reporting.

Lexia's technology offers more than 800 activities for reading skills development, all of which are age- and skill-specific and conform to federal reading guidelines. A notable feature is the individualized "branching" technology that determines when a student needs additional practice in each skill and ensures mastery of the skill before the student progresses to the next one.

"As a Reading First district, we are dedicated to applying proven methods of early reading instruction in the classroom in order to affect significant improvement in our students' reading skills across all five domains of reading," said Dr. Peter Knapik, director of curriculum, instruction, and staff development for Mountain View School District.  "With the Lexia product we are witnessing a huge difference not only in English language acquisition, but in language arts skills overall."

Santa Ana Unified School District, another district using the program, said they were particularly impressed with the way Lexia Reading's activities engaged the students, entertaining them while leaving them unaware of the educational aspect. Historically, when students are more engaged and less conscious of a mundane "study" component of any activity, the less bored and frustrated they become and the more eagerly they embrace the work.

William Skelly, principal of SAUSD's Heninger Elementary, cited the need for younger students to have significant opportunities to practice such skills as phonological awareness, sight word recognition, sound-symbol correspondence and word-attack skills. He said the program provides students "with individualized reading skills instruction and practice that builds core competencies, and provides teachers with detailed feedback on student progress.  Struggling students receive scaffolded support, while students demonstrating proficiency advance to more challenging concepts."

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Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.