Catching Children Before They Fail... The Right to Read Program
Right To Read is a program developed by a volunteer committee of psychologists and reading specialists to help identify and support children with reading difficulties in their early school years, as well as children whose first language is not English. The program is based on evidence gathered from many disciplines over several decades that has provided many insights into how children learn to read. This research is considered the "Science of Reading."
The Reading Readiness Screening Tool provides kindergarten and grade 1 teachers (for the English program) and grade 1 and grade 2 teachers (for the French program) with an accessible, affordable measure to screen all their students for reading readiness skills. Early identification of foundational skills, including phonemic awareness, is known, to miniziae the impact of reading difficulties, and in some cases prevents future reading and writing difficulties.
The Reading Readiness Screening Tool workshop informs participants how to administer the screening tool to students. A subsequent workshop, Assessment Informs Instruction, provides participants with an opportunity to discuss their experience administering the screening tool, interpret results, and to learn relevant intervention strategies utilizing principles of structured literacy intervention.
"We trained all of our Kindergarten and Grade One teachers this year, and our teachers have been very receptive to using the RRST to develop clarity around literacy development and student needs in the early years. It (the RRST) has been a great catalyst for productive conversations between teachers, administrators, parents and district decision makers."
Stacey Miner, Optimal Learning Coach, Medicine Hat Public School Division 76
"My son went from not knowing all the letters in the alphabet at the end of kindergarten to reading at grade level at the end of grade 1. I strongly feel that his teacher having this assessment right at the beginning of the school year made all the difference. I am so grateful for this wonderful program and feel every kindergarten child should be assessed for their reading readiness as it would identify potential problems earlier. Thank you for this wonderful tool."
Greta Gerstner, Parent
The Program Vision
- Every child in kindergarten and/or grade one is screened for potential reading difficulties
- Every child potentially at risk for reading problems is given support at the earliest possible stage in his or her education
- All teachers have the capacity to provide effective intervention to children at risk for reading problems
How does it work?
The Right to Read program is designed to screen all K-1 children for their readiness to read and offers interventions for the areas of weakness that may become an impediment to reading. Children who fail to progress after active involvement in the program may be at risk for a learning disability and may then be flagged in the earliest grades for assessment and support.
An Online course is available for K-1 English and for grade 1-2 French the program is a two-day workshop format. The screening tool as well as teacher and parent activities documents are free to those who attend the workshops.