LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The Little Rock School District is ending a longtime reading program for struggling elementary students and parents aren't happy about it.
"All through first grade he went 30 minutes a day, one on one, with Ms. Carpenter and it really helped," said Gibbs parent Tiffany Hadden. Hadden's son was part of the district's reading recovery program which caught him up to grade level in one year. "It all started to click," Hadden added. "And now he's reading college and adult level books in 6th grade."
The program has been in Little Rock since 1995 and over the past six years has helped raise the number of proficient and advanced readers more than 20 percent among LRSD 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.
"I was upset that the district would consider dropping a program with this long history of success," said UALR Center for Literacy Director Dr. Linda Dorn. "The results are pretty much consistent all the time. You start early, you do an intensive intervention, and you're able to put that child on track for future reading success."
A statement from the LRSD reads:
"The New Little Rock School District's plan for reading teachers is intended to meet the needs of struggling students by providing an extension of the research-based, LRSD Elementary Literacy Integrated Core Curriculum. The plan for LRSD reading teachers isn't new; it is an extension of the core curriculum and instructional design for elementary literacy. Through extension of the core curriculum, reading teachers will work with groups of students with similar needs to improve literacy performance and achievement."