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Holiday Reading is Rad Program Margaret Hunter Coordinator, Partnership Development Schools in Low SES Communities and Equity Coordination NSW Department of Education and Communities
Funding programs in NSW government schools In NSW there is funding available to schools with the highest concentrations of students from low SES families • Priority Schools Funding Programs (580 schools) • Priority Action Schools Program (101 schools) • Low SES School Communities NP (552 schools) 66% of these schools receive all of these funding sources
Priority Schools Programs • comprise the Priority Schools Funding Program and the Priority Action Schools Program • are equity programs based on principles of social justice in education • target 580 Priority Schools with the highest concentrations of students from low socio-economic backgrounds – 20%of students in government schools in NSW • focus on improving students’ literacy, numeracy and participation outcomes
Priority Schools Programs action areas Quality teaching and learning Quality Classroom and school organisation Classroom and school culture and Home, school and community partnerships
Research shows that: • low SES students improve their reading levels about as much as high SES students over the school year • some low SES students, however, can lose up to 25 per cent of their reading skills during the summer holidays (Cooper, H, et al, 1996, The effects of Summer Vacation on Achievement Test Scores)
Holiday Reading is Rad The aim of the Holiday Reading is Rad program is to encourage adults to read with their children each day of the holidays to prevent summer fall-off in reading skills
The key, however, is for students to read about topics of their own interest and not be forced to read. Reading needs to be fun (Keeler, D 2007)
What do students receive?
Since the pilot program in 2002, involving 1500 students in 12 primary schools, 150, 000 students from more than 580 low SES school communities have taken part.
2011 -2012 Evaluation highlights • 15, 161 students from 198 low socio-economic status school communities participated in the program • Data gathered from a sample of students showed that: - 26 per cent improved their reading level as assessed by their teacher - 63 per cent maintained their reading level as assessed by their teacher. • Data gathered from a sample of students showed that there was a significant shift in student attitudes towards reading • In-kind sponsorship of 110, 000 magazines, books and pamphlets to the approximate value of $666, 000 • Provision of 30 prizes of magazine subscriptions
Comments • Children enjoyed the magazines as their parents can't afford to buy this type of material (teacher) • Not only did we read from books, we also spent time together doing puzzles and trying to improve handwriting (parent) • It was fun. I am proud of myself for getting a certificate (student)
One Success story One student who reads at grade level did not think summer Holiday reading with his family would be fun. He returned his diary filled with a range of reading experiences including electronic manuals, instructions for assembling Hotwheels, maps, sorting mail and You. Tube songs. A couple of reading books featured towards the end of the holidays. Thanks to the Holiday Reading is RAD packs his family came to appreciate reading in a variety of forms and this student's attitude towards reading in the summer holidays shifted from Never to Always
The poorest children in the country cannot be educationally disadvantaged until someone, through some consecrated practice, educationally disadvantages them. (Freebody 1995)