Tuesday, July 12, 2011

ARF Success!!!

The Animal Reading Friends (ARF) program began in September 2010 at Travis Elementary School in San Marcos, Texas. This school-year long program attempted to improve the reading skills of seven second and third graders who were reading below grade level when they began in the ARF program. Each student would read to a pet partner team for 20 minute intervals on Fridays. The idea behind reading to the pet partner team had to do with 1) practicing reading aloud, 2) gaining confidence in reading and 3) instilling a feeling of enjoyment in reading. Quantitative measures highlight the success of this program. On average, our second graders improved 3.75 reading levels meaning that most of the participants are now reading above grade level. Even greater success was shown by the third graders. On average, these students improved 4.66 reading grade levels and each third grader began reading below grade level and ended the program reading above grade level. In addition, all ARF student participants improved their correct words per minute ability as well as reading accuracy. While these numeric measures certainly underscore the success of the program, intangible benefits such as improved attendance, gaining comfort interacting with animals, and having a positive mentor involved in their lives clearly show value in programs such as ARF. Please join us and become a positive agent for change in the lives of a local student!

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