CRIDERSVILLE — The science of reading is a multidisciplinary field that encompasses research from cognitive psychology, linguistics, neuroscience, education, and computer science. Its primary goal is to understand how humans learn to read and how we can improve reading instruction and intervention. Research shows that students who aren’t reading proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to leave high school without earning a diploma than their peers who are proficient readers.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine visited Cridersville Elementary School on Tuesday to listen and learn about a successful reading program. DeWine knows the value of reading.
“Reading is absolutely essential to everything we do. It is the key to get in the door. It’s the key to allow a person to enjoy all aspects of life and to make a good living,” he said.
DeWine listened to teachers and adminitrators and even students who have been helped by the new emphasis on reading in the Wapakoneta School system. DeWine and his wife Fran witnessed phonics instruction in the kindergarten class of Mrs. Tessa Gullette. They then were involved in the second-grade class of Renee Davis. The students were actively engaged in their lessons. The governor was able to answer with the correct pronunciation of a word the students were decoding – “DEWINE”
The findings from the science of reading have important implications for education, as they can inform instructional practices and help educators identify effective strategies for supporting struggling readers.
Carrie Knoch, Director of Student Achievement, said that the district faced some harsh realities when initiating the program two years ago. The biggest hurdle was that teachers were not equipped to teach students to read. Professional development raised teacher ability and confidence to teach what was necessary. Teachers used state standards as suggestions but relied on the findings of the science of reading.
The Cridersviile teachers started with phonics and phonemic awareness and are preparing to move on to comprehension strategies. The latest data shows that the Wapakoneta City Schools have 62.3% of its third-grade students proficient or above on the reading portion of the Ohio State Test (OST).
DeWine also has stepped up.
“The most important thing that I did in the budget submitted to the general assembly, I called for every school in the state really to be doing what Cridersville is doing. That is to follow the science of reading,” he said.
”What we’ve seen today shows that it works. If you look at where we are as a state, we still have a big percentage of our kids who at third grade are not reading at the third-grade level. We’ve got to improve on that. This is really the way to do it. It takes a lot of work; it takes a lot of effort. We’ve put money into the budget, I think about $170 million dollars to help our schools make that transition.” DeWine said.
Reach Dean Brown at 567-242-0409