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posted: 4/7/2014 12:01 AM

Worry about Project Leap dismantling

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Worry about Project Leap dismantling

I am writing this because Project Leap, District 203's one on one early intervention reading program, is on the brink of being eliminated at a time when higher expectations are being placed on our children with the Common Core State Standards.

Reading is the basis from which most other learning occurs and it makes no sense to dismantle a K-1 reading program that has impacted over 8,500 children and has proved successful throughout its 25 years. The data is there to support its effectiveness. Project Leap is NOT Reading Recovery but Leap results rival that of the renowned national program.

I know the impact Leap has on children because I worked as a Project Leap tutor and a Leap support leader for twenty years before retiring, and saw first hand what this outstanding program can do for struggling readers. I'm well aware of the strong support this program had and continues to have from teachers (grades K through 5) and reading specialists.

The Leap staff has always worked with teachers and reading specialists as a team and the schedules for Leap sessions were created so that students would not miss core areas of the curriculum during their one on one 35 minute Leap session.

The district proposes 1-2 assistants per two to four classrooms who will cover all core areas in grades K-2. That's a tall order. What happens to the children who struggle with reading? If children don't have a good foundation in reading how can they expect to excel in "core areas of the curriculum" and throughout their school career? Project Leap already provides this reading foundation so why would the district consider eliminating it. Do we really want to take a risk with this proposed learning support model? What would you choose for your child?

Sharon Bitzer


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