UVA Professor Helps Identify Issues For Young Readers | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

UVA Professor Helps Identify Issues For Young Readers

Play associated audio
The earlier students with reading issues can be identified, the better.
Alex Ragone: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexragone/3756298136/
The earlier students with reading issues can be identified, the better.

A University of Virginia Professor of Education has new grants to help American children learn how to read. The program she's developed is already in use nationwide  — it's called PALS, and some say it represents a breakthrough for kids.

Some students will enter kindergarten this fall already knowing about language and the printed word. According to education Professor Marcia Invernizzi, many more start school with far less information — some pre-schoolers don't even know how to hold a book.

"Not everybody knows that you hold it upright. If you haven't had opportunities to be read to, if you haven't attended pre-school, if you haven't been in a family that has books, you may not know that print is separate from pictures and that it's read left to right, top to bottom, what a letter is, as opposed to a word," Invernizzi says.

So Invernizzi developed a comprehensive screening test called the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening or PALS with a grant from the Virginia Department of Education. That enabled her to share the test with any teacher in the state at no charge, and 16,000 are now using it to screen more than quarter of a million kids a year. The idea is to assure that all children get off to a good start reading.

"You will get extra help early, before problems occur," she says.

Virginia was the first state to have a preventive program of this kind, but schools in other states have purchased testing kits and access to a website where teachers score students online, get an immediate report, and monitor progress.

Invernizzi was recently named Innovator of the Year by the University of Virginia and has won two new grants from the state and federal governments to expand PALS, making it useful to pre-kindergarten students who speak Spanish and to all children in grades 4-8.

NPR

Rod McKuen, The Cheeseburger To Poetry's Haute Cuisine

Poet Rod McKuen was loved by millions but mocked by literary critics. He died this week at age 81.
NPR

Shake Shack Sizzles With IPO As McDonald's Fizzles

Shares of the burger chain shot up Friday, its first trading day. Shake Shack and other fast-casual joints are taking a bite out of McDonald's, which can't recast itself to fit the current trend.
NPR

What Romney's Retreat Means For GOP Hopefuls

NPR's Scott Simon speaks with senior Washington editor Ron Elving about the narrowing Republican presidential field for 2016 and what we've seen so far in the first month of the new Congress.
NPR

Media Outlets Partner With Snapchat To Appeal To Younger Users

As people disappear from the audiences of conventional news organizations, 11 media outlets have partnered with Snapchat in the U.S. to offer its younger users easily digested fare within the app.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.