Summit 7 Systems today announced that donations made to the Accelerated Reading Rewards program for Rainbow Elementary School in Madison, Alabama, aided in a 22% increase in reading over the 2011 – 2012 academic year. The students exceeded the school’s goal by reading 420,981,234 words, which was 105% of their goal for academic year.
Rainbow Elementary School PTA supports the school reading curriculum with the Accelerated Reader (AR) program from Renaissance Learning, Inc. Children independently select books within their ATOS reading level. ATOS is a Readability Formula for Books that helps teachers and parents find material that fit individual reading levels. Students take comprehension tests at school to validate their understanding of the book. The AR system assigns points after the tests, which are based on book complexity and the students’ comprehension. The points accumulate throughout the year and are an indicator of the child’s reading level.
Mrs. Dorinda White, Rainbow Elementary Principle says that, “Our number one goal in using AR is for students to practice their reading. As with anything we are learning, the more we practice the better we get at it. For example, if a child is learning to play basketball he/she will repeatedly practice shooting. It is the same way with reading. Teachers instruct in the fundamentals, but students must practice the craft. The more they read the better readers they become. I am thrilled with the volume of reading our students have completed this year.”
Supported by Summit 7 Systems in Huntsville, Alabama, the Rainbow Elementary School PTA kicked off a reading program at the beginning of the school year to incentivize students by offering Nook e-readers, Barnes and Noble Gift Cards, class trophies and a quarterly prize cart for all kids who met or exceeded individualized goals. The goal of the program was to encourage children to read more books, to find books that are engaging, and to slowly increase the complexity of the books being read. Overall, reading volume increased across all Rainbow grade levels from the 2011-2012 school year by an average of 22%.
Scott Edwards, Summit 7 Systems President said, “Reading is the foundation of educational excellence and by any statistical measure the incentivized AR reading program instituted at Rainbow this year proved to be a great success. We are excited that we could be a part of this program and we look forward to continuing to support the staff at Rainbow Elementary School as they prepare our children for competition in the global marketplace.”
The contest launched friendly competition across the school. To motivate the students Principal Dorinda White and Vice-Principal Michael Gunner offered themselves up for a dunk tank to celebrate exceeding the school-wide reading goal. Congratulations to the individual winners. 1st place winners received a NookHD, 2nd place and 3rd place grade-level winners received $50 and $25 gift Barnes and Noble gift cards. The Top 10 readers in each grade received medals. Students achieving more than 1000 points for the school year also received special recognition. Throughout the year all Rainbow students had the opportunity to earn prizes by meeting or exceeding their individual goals as set by their teacher.
According to Renaissance Learning, the average reading level in the United States today is an ATOS score of 6.0 which is a decline from the 1907 average ATOS of 9.0. The 2013 Renaissance report revealed that the average American elementary age child reads an average of 41.7 books consisting of a total 208,098 words for the academic year. Rainbow Elementary students read 3 times the American average with 690,133 words per student.
About Renaissance Learning Inc.
Renaissance Learning is a leading provider of technology-based school improvement and student assessment programs for K12 schools. Renaissance Learning’s tools provide daily formative assessment and periodic progress-monitoring technology to enhance core curriculum, support differentiated instruction, and personalize practice in reading, writing and math. Renaissance Learning products help educators make the practice component of their existing curriculum more effective by providing tools to personalize practice and easily manage the daily activities for students of all levels. As a result, teachers using Renaissance Learning products accelerate learning, get more satisfaction from teaching, and help students achieve higher test scores on state and national tests.