Honors Projects for Elementary Education

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    Elevating Literacy Development of First Grade Students to Increase Academic Success in a Title I School on the Leeward Coast Following an Adaptation of the Reading Recovery Methodology
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2014-09-26) Farnum, Suzette ; Marel, Roberta and Judd, Jeffrey ; Elementary Education
    In 2010, at a Leeward coast elementary school, 4 out of 140 kindergarten students continued to first grade at the expected reading level. All students in Hawai`i need to be literate to be competitive in the job market, but on the leeward coast of Oahu this is extremely challenging. The schools on the leeward coast of Oahu are all Title 1 schools. In Title 1 schools at least 40% of the students come from families who qualify under the United States census definition of low income. According to the Hawai`i Department of Education Adequate Yearly Report for school year 2011-2012, students on the Waianae Coast schools do not have the reading skills adequate to continue on to higher education or compete in the job market. Their achievement scores for reading are between 40% and 67% passing; all under the Hawaii state average. In this research project, an adaptation of the Reading Recovery program was used to provide the reading foundations required for students to reach average grade level reading. The Reading Recovery program is an intensive intervention designed to elevate struggling readers to the average reading level for their assigned grade. The Reading Recovery model involves: speaking, listening, reading and writing. Subjects were 8 first grade students at a leeward coast elementary school that were assessed at well below the average first grade reading level. Using an adaptation of the Reading Recovery program the eight students participated in 30 minute sessions, three times each week, for a duration of twelve weeks. The results indicated a significant increase in average grade reading levels for all students. This suggests combining the reading and writing components with sensory integration is an effective intervention to improve literacy. The findings of this research could provide a feasible plan for educators to assist in increasing the literacy levels and possibly improving the academic and life trajectory of the students in Title 1 schools, in poverty areas.