Title

Project ROAR: Rediscovering Opportunities and Attitudes for Reading

Location

Harborside Center

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance

An adolescence literacy crisis arises from research indicating that interest, competence, and motivation related to reading begin to wane in the middle school grades. Research also supports this crisis is greater in high-poverty environments and leads to a greater risk of high school drop-out, teen pregnancy, unemployment and crime. Motivation and opportunity to read both play a huge role in the attitude of adolescent literacy. Increasing the literacy skills of students in high-poverty schools increases the opportunities for success and life-long learning.

Brief Program Description

Project ROAR advances the opportunities for and attitude towards adolescent literacy through the use of Kindle e-Readers in book clubs, 4th-6th grade, students attending a high poverty school. Book Clubs take place on the school campus facilitated by middle school preservice teacher candidates from the local University. Program start up procedures and outcome data will be shared.

Summary

For adolescents to become more proficient readers, they must read and read a lot. Book Clubs with middle school students were implemented in a high poverty school as an alternative means to combat the trend of declining reading and address issue of reading engagement and motivation. The Book Clubs are facilitated by preservice teacher candidates from the local University as Service Learning. The Book Clubs meet for one hour, once a week for twelve weeks of an academic semester (Fall & Spring). Two teacher candidates are paired with five middle school students. Book Clubs occur during the participating students’ enrichment time. Engaging middle school students in reading is critical because it contributes to motivation. By using book “club” and focusing on reading as an experience, a social gathering rather than an academic task attracts middle school readers and provides a short reprieve from the demands of the classroom. Book Clubs provide for lively conversations among students and their peers. They help to expand the students’ appreciation and understand of the book they read.

Although the choice to participate in a book club is important, the freedom to select books read by book club members is central to success. It is important that students at all ranges of reading ability be given the opportunity to select books that stimulate their interest based on their own personal criteria. Choice in text selection empowers readers and thereby promotes literacy development. The current book clubs are limited to a very few title selections of literature provided by the school. Kindle e-Readers is a convenient, portable reading device capable of holding up to 1, 500 books and will provide students at all ranges of reading ability the opportunity to select books that stimulate their interest. Because the Kindle e-Readers are portable they can be easily used by all Book Club members. Readers are, by nature, prone to discuss books that appeal to them which leads to deeper discussion and an expansion of their perspective and opinions. Adding enthusiastic involvement with books is important as it may provide a venue for students to enter the world of well-read discussion and literary engagement

Evidence

Project ROAR was designed based on evidenced-based practices involving at-risk adolescences, struggling adolescent readers, effective teaching practices, and the use of technology in the classroom.

Self-efficacy data have been collected on the preservice teaching candidates and attitudinal and attendance data have been collected on middle-school students.

Project ROAR's procedures and the data collection methodologies have been approved by the granting universities Institutional Review Board.

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Gerlinde Beckers is an assistance professor at Southeastern Louisiana University. She has eleven year of teaching experience in high-poverty public schools. Her research interests are struggling adolescent readers, diagnostic & prescriptive reading and content literacy. She has several publications and has presented at the state, national, and international level.

Dr. Earl Cheek, Jr., is an endowed professor emeritus at Louisiana State University. His areas of research are diagnostic and prescriptive reading and content literacy.He has over 40 years of literacy experience with over 100 publications. He has presented at the state, national, and international level.

Keyword Descriptors

At-risk readers, adolescence, middle school, teacher development

Presentation Year

2016

Start Date

3-8-2016 4:00 PM

End Date

3-8-2016 5:30 PM

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Mar 8th, 4:00 PM Mar 8th, 5:30 PM

Project ROAR: Rediscovering Opportunities and Attitudes for Reading

Harborside Center

Project ROAR advances the opportunities for and attitude towards adolescent literacy through the use of Kindle e-Readers in book clubs, 4th-6th grade, students attending a high poverty school. Book Clubs take place on the school campus facilitated by middle school preservice teacher candidates from the local University. Program start up procedures and outcome data will be shared.