The Lunch Time Book Buddies - Pass It On Program

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There’s no denying that reading is the foundation for all academic achievement (paths, whether they lead you down the road of a doctoral degree or to the door of parenting). It reinforces language and communication, without it you cannot read a menu, bus schedule, recipe, street sign, bank statement or loved ones letter, not to mention phone texts or discovering a favorite book. Reading navigates us through our day-to-day life and fuels our imagination (and opens up worlds of possibilities: new countries, new cultures, and your own history). However, the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), aka “Nation’s Report Card”, revealed 34% of fourth grade students in public schools fell below the basic reading level and one in six students not reading proficiently in the third grade do not graduate high school on time. These staggering statistics along with the accountability reforms of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) have led scholars and educators to look for more effective means of reading instruction and have contributed to the development of alternative, supplemental reading activities and programs to support/bolster literacy improvement. Research shows that the level of reading fluency in third grade is a predictor of future academic achievement. Third grade is when reading transitions from decoding to comprehension of text (Stevens, 2006). These key literacy skills build students’ capacity to learn independently, from all academic fields and social environments (Shanahan, 2010). It is no surprise that reading instruction is such a strong focus of curriculum in pre and early elementary education. Educational trends regarding reading instruction have vacillated between traditional phonics and holistic langu... ... middle of paper ... ...2007). Tips for teaching: Using partners to build reading fluency. Preventing School Failure, 51(2), 52-55. National Center for Education Statistics (2011). The Nation’s Report Card: Reading 2011(NCES 2012–457). Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/pdf/main2011/2012457.pdf Shanahan, T. (2010). Improving reading comprehension in kindergarten through 3rd grade. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Dept. of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance. Smith, M. K. (2004). Nel Noddings, the ethics of care and education. The Encyclopaedia of Informal Education. Retrieved from www.infed.org/thinkers/noddings.htm Stevens, R. J. (2006). Developing reading fluency: What does the research say? Catalyst For Change, 34(1), 37-44.

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