The fight to increase literacy

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 18, 2005

REGION-“Reading is the key.” That is the slogan for the Alabama Reading Initiative.

ARI, a program that hopes to help Alabama students achieve higher reading levels, has recently added area schools to the roster.

Amelia Johnson High, John Essex High, Marengo High, Greensboro East High and Sunshine High have been added to the list for the upcoming school year.

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The schools will join Kinterbish Junior High, Livingston High and Junior High, Sumter High, Greensboro West Elementary, Moundville Elementary, and Paramount Junior High.

As of June 2005, 228 Alabama schools were participating in the program.

“It’s professional development for teachers,” Christine Spear, ARI education specialist, said. “It teaches teachers to look at data to determine what mistakes a child is making. Every teacher is equipped to help every child in the classroom.”

The program is catered to kindergarten to third grade teachers in order to resolve any reading issues a child may have as soon as possible. Spear hopes to one day have the funding to cater to all grade levels.

“We do what we need to do to get a child moving in the right direction,” Spear said. “The program is making a lot of progress in the area.”