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Reading score trends at Joplin Schools - KOAM TV 7

Read Across America Day

Reading score trends at Joplin Schools

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Friday is Read Across America Day and many area schools are holding events, hoping to develop a love for reading among young people.

The Joplin School District says it stresses the importance of reading every day, and they say they have the test scores to prove it.

"Reading is the most important life skill to have success in life and so students and children need to be reading daily," says Joplin Schools Assistant Superintendent Dr. Angie Besendorfer.

Schools, businesses and parents celebrated Read Across America Day by reading books to children but administrators want everyone to know that reading is essential every day.

"It helps our parents just to be reminded about the fact that reading at home is so important and reading at home with your kids, even if they can read themselves is still very important," says Dr. Besendorfer.

For Joplin area schools the success in reading programs has lead to an increase in test scores, making students more successful, beginning at a young age.

"Our test scores have improved but where we're seeing the big gains is that Lexile score," says North Middle School Principal Brandon Eggleston.

The Joplin School district developed the Read 180 program to help students who are struggling with their reading levels by using Lexile's, which are defined as text written for specific grade levels.

Principal Eggleston says if students are below a certain score in Lexile they are ways set up to help them improve their reading skills - small group instruction, independent reading, as well as work on a computer - and assess every day how the students are doing.

Students evaluated in the Read 180 program are tested four times per year.

Principal Eggleston says he's seen dramatic improvements in student's progress.  He says he's seen students progress during each test period and the district plans to continue to develop the program further.

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