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Rotary Club of St Vincent / Scotia Bank invest in Remediation Technology

Rotary Club of St Vincent / Scotia Bank invest in Remediation Technology

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One year after launching a literacy project at the Georgetown Secondary School, the Rotary Club of St. Vincent is seeing the significant impact the programme has had on students in need of targeted remediation.{{more}}

The project, which was launched on Thursday, December 2, 2010, is sponsored by the Scotia Bank Bright Future Fund, as well as the local Scotia Bank branch.

The literacy project has provided the Georgetown Secondary School with award-winning literacy software as well as training for teachers, other staff, and community leaders in the management and implementation of the software.

The school is pioneering the use of the Academy of Reading software in St Vincent, with hopes to serve as a model for other schools that might benefit from integrating technology into their reading remediation.

In March of 2010, the Rotary Club of St Vincent began its support of the remedial reading program at Georgetown Secondary School by helping to sponsor twenty First form remedial students to use School Specialty Inc’s Academy of Reading and Math software for one year through Rotary International’s CALS (Computer Assisted Literacy Solution).

During the two months that the students spent on the Academy of Reading software, they showed impressive gains, increasing their reading level, on average, by .8 of a grade in less than 6 hours time spent training or “on task.”

Realizing the potential that this software had to remediate on an even greater scale, the Rotary Club of St Vincent decided to expand their efforts and submitted a grant proposal to the Scotia Bank Bright Future Fund requesting funds to purchase the Academy of Reading software permanently for Georgetown Secondary.

In September 2010, this grant for $15,500 USD ($41,700 EC), was approved by Scotia Bank, with $12,500 USD being awarded by the Bright Future Fund and $3,000 USD committed by local Scotia Bank branch. These funds were used to purchase a 20-concurrent user license of Academy of Reading for the school as well as to bring in a professional trainer who prepared teachers and other staff to implement and manage the programs. In addition, the school has the use of School Specialty Inc’s other programs, Academy of Math and Portfolio (an Oral Reading Fluency program) for one year.

The Academy of Reading is comprehensive literacy software originally conceptualized by two Canadian neuropsychologists which has won numerous awards, including being voted by hundreds of teachers as the Best Reading Software in two consecutive Reader’s Choice Awards in the E-School News.

The software provides students with a targeted, highly effective literacy intervention solution that is research-driven and is designed to help struggling readers of all ages and abilities master the fundamentals of reading. Academy of Reading has been shown through dozens of research studies, as well as through its use in thousands of primary and secondary schools worldwide to produce significant and sustainable gains among its users, with permanent reading gains being made in less than 10 hours time spent “on task.”

It is expected that hundreds of secondary students will benefit from this program, and there are plans to use the software to remediate students in the Youth Assistance Project at Marion House in Georgetown and for adult remediation as well. The ultimate hope of the Rotary Club of St Vincent is to expand the usage of remediation software to other schools in St Vincent, thereby further increasing literacy and numeracy in the Country.

One year since the commencement of the project, the results have shown the significant impact on our students in need of targeted remediation.

Thanks to Peace Corp Volunteers Shannon Lincoln who initiated the project and Reiko Jones, the present teacher, the future looks bright for the students of the Georgetown Secondary School through the timely support from Scotia Bank and the Rotary Club of St Vincent. Parents Guardians, Teachers and the community are asked to continue to encourage our students as they make the extra effort to improve themselves.

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