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4 Key Ingredients of a Successful Reading Intervention Implementation

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Once you’ve chosen a reading intervention that suits your needs, how do you implement it to ensure its success?

With experience both as an educator and on the Product team at Reading Plus, Jenny Eisenman, Chief Education Officer at Reading Plus, can speak to the most important ingredients for ensuring a successful implementation of your reading intervention.

“I’ve had this wonderful opportunity—really a privilege—to see successful implementations in a variety of contexts,” says Eisenman. “The successful implementations really have a commonality in terms of these four key ingredients.”

Those four ingredients are:

1. Strong Leadership

Effective school leaders who encourage a culture of literacy to keep both teachers and students engaged in reading instruction may have the biggest influence on the success of your reading intervention. 

This includes leadership that starts at the district level and extends down to the building levels as well. When leaders are committed to the program, willing to invest their time and energy into making sure it’s successful, and communicative about its importance, reading intervention programs are more likely to provide the reading growth that your students need.

2. Healthy Culture

“We all know what [a healthy culture] looks like and what that feels like when we see it,” says Eisenman. “Teachers and students who feel safe, who feel valued, students who are ready to learn, [are] engaged with their learning [and take] ownership of their learning.”

This culture of safe, healthy, confident learning gives students the intrinsic motivation they need to drastically improve their reading scores. Motivation—along with comprehension and silent reading efficiency—is one of the most important components of developing reading skills in students.

“Acknowledge their progress and accomplishments no matter how small they are,” says Beth Carabetta, Reading Coach at Maloney High School in Meriden, CT. “Many of these students who need intervention are frustrated. They need the encouragement and the confidence to know that they are growing as readers.”

3. Dedicated Teachers

At the end of the day, teachers are the leaders in their classrooms, and they already have strong relationships with their students. The teacher is the one who is going to help students believe that the program will work for them, as well as make use of formative data that comes out of an online program to adjust and improve instruction as needed. Providing teachers with the support they need will be essential to the program’s success.

“I always have beginning-of-the-year training for teachers,” explains Julie Bowers Matney, District-Wide Intervention Coach and Student Support Leader, at Sullivan County Department of Education. “And I always try to make sure that about nine weeks in, we have another training, because by that time, we have data on the program…that will help us intervene with what the students need at that time.”

4. Fidelity of Use

“In order to achieve great results with any program, it needs to be used with fidelity,” says Eisenman. “That typically takes some advanced planning and some intention, and, quite honestly, accountability practices: students know what’s expected of them, teachers understand what the expectations are in terms of use, and it remains part of the ongoing conversation in the classroom and the building.”

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