Reading Enhancement Overview


Reading Enhancement is an intensive one-on-one tutoring program for reading. This early intervention program targets students in first and second grades with the greatest need. In the thirty minute lessons, the tutors work with the students to develop word recognition and comprehensive reading strategies using multiple cues in the text and thinking reflectively about the text. The ultimate goal of Reading Enhancement is to have students become independent readers and writers.


Reading Enhancement was written in 2000-01, by Pat Nippert, as an update/spin off of McPherson’s Reading Acceleration Program. (Pat, along with Janice Vint, Laura Heidebrecht, and Barb Flory, organized the Reading Acceleration Program for McPherson in 1992, with much support and encouragement from Dr. Randy Watson.) Reading Enhancement was first implemented in the fall of 2001.


The Reading Enhancement Program was created as a need was seen for a stronger emphasis on the comprehension strategies and also an added phonological awareness emphasis. The program’s extensive research base includes: David Sousa’s Primacy Recency Effect, Marie Clay’s Reading Recovery, Kansas Accelerated Literature Learning, The Six Traits of an Effective Reader, David Sousa’s Brain Based Learning, SBR (Scientific Based Results) Strategic Approach to Learning, SBR Strategy of Questioning, SBR Strategy of Integrating Reading and Writing, and SBR Big Five Components- Phonological Awareness, Phonics, Vocabulary, Fluency and Comprehension.


The program begins with screening the first and second grade students to determine those with greatest needs. Teacher recommendations and testing scores constitute which students are selected (eligible) for the program.


Next, a series of diagnostic assessments are given. This consists of Concepts About Print, Dictation, running records consisting of word accuracy, fluency and comprehension,  and Nonsense Word Fluency assessments for the second grade students. All of the above, are given to the first grade students in addition to the Letter and Sound Identification assessment.


The intense thirty minute lessons are made up of eight components. These are: familiar  write, phonemic awareness activity, running record of the previous day’s book (word accuracy, fluency and comprehension), journal writing and sentence strip, introduction of a new book, skill and strategy work, and familiar reads for success. The students have homework each evening. This homework consists of reading the book used in the day’s running record to a parent or guardian and reassembling their sentence strip and reading that to their adult, also.


In order for a student to be dismissed from the program, it is recommended they have participated in at least 75 lessons, or are reading on grade level with decoding and comprehension strategies firmly in place.