By BASIC founder, David Osinski:
Recently I read John Steinbeck’s novel East of Eden. It describes in elegant prose the lives of those families who crossed the United States to farm in the valleys on the western side of the Rocky Mountains at the end of the nineteenth century. The masterful book could not be compared in the least to the 1955 film that portrayed only a small, seedy portion of the saga.
I am not sure how many of our BASIC students would be willing to wade through East of Eden, due I think to its six hundred pages. My thinking is reinforced by feedback from our BASIC specialists who work in public school systems.
Lindi Wilson, BASIC reading specialist for thirteen years “At one stage parents perceived the value of reading and insisted on its importance with their children. With the spread of technology, parents don’t push for reading advances among their children as they rely on the computer to “educate” their children.”
Nathan Langston, BASIC math and baseball instructor five years. “As related to the generational gap regarding the importance of reading, students opt to use computer or telephone to search for an answer. They don’t value reading for its own sake. Many students are not willing to put in the effort to improve their ability to read.”
These comments seem to bear out ABF data taken from our 2019 STAR pre and post reading tests.
Of the 115 students who pre and post tested in reading, 106 pre-tested below grade level. Of these students 9 reached or exceeded their respective grade levels. In general, 75 of the 106 below-grade-level students gained in reading.
Of the 106 students below grade level, 71 pre-tested more than one year below grade level and of these 71 students, 41 pre-tested two or more years below grade level.
The challenge of having all children read at grade level and then have them become life-long readers exists among BASIC students who come from more than forty schools. Assist the ABF to meet the challenge by sharing your insight and experience as regards making reading fun and John Steinbeck meaningful.
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