Among the many programs that are available at Capitol Hill Lutheran Church, one of the newest offered is our Iowa Reads (a non-profit organization) reading program.
Children in pre-K as well as school-aged children are welcome to participate. Students as young as the age of 4 can begin learning all the way up to our 12-year-olds.
Why did we initiate this program at our church? Simply stated, many students are pushed through the public school system when they are not able to read to the level needed in the classroom. Our students participate each week, during or after our weekly Sunday school hours, for 30 minutes each session. We have a computer lab that has set aside multiple desktop computers for the sole purpose of the program. Students can work together in small groups or individually, whichever instruction works best for the student at hand.
Classes are offered to assist students in becoming proficient in reading at their grade level. Studies show that too often students are passed through the education system lacking necessary literacy skills. It is the hope of both Capitol Hill Lutheran Church and Iowa Reads that these classes will assist students in becoming highly confident in their respective reading abilities so that they may progress and become successful learners.
The materials used in these reading courses have been measured during several years and have been found to be very effective in enhancing reading ability. Students in grades three – 12, who have struggled with conventional instruction, use Corrective Reading Curriculum from the National Institute for Direct Instruction, an entity of the University of Oregon. Those students who complete the first 26 lessons of this program have been found to raise their reading levels by 1.8 grade levels. That number increases to 2.8 grade levels after 65 completed lessons and 3.7 grade levels if 125 lessons are completed.
Students who are in pre-K – first grade are involved with the FUNNIX Beginning Readers curriculum. The FUNNIX program is computer-based. It covers reading skills up to second grade during the span of 220 lessons. Last year Iowa Reads enrolled 20 kindergarten students at a local school who were flagged as not having the literacy skills necessary to enter kindergarten at the beginning of the school year in the FUNNIX program. By the end of the program, 18 of the 20 students were all ready for first grade as assessed by Des Moines Public Schools testing.
Capitol Hill Lutheran Church, located in Des Moines’ Historic East Village, is thrilled to be a part of this learning program that enhances our youth’s education.
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