United Way Expands Power Reading Program
updated: Nov 12, 2016, 3:00 PM
Source: United Way of Santa Barbara County
After four years of success at five Goleta schools, United Way of Santa Barbara County recently began implementing its Power Reading program at all nine Goleta Union School District schools. Through the GUSD Literacy Partnership, UWSBC and GUSD will expand grade-level reading efforts and results.
"We are thrilled to have the Goleta Literacy Partnership with United Way up and running," said William Banning, Superintendent of Goleta Union School District. "Every student in our district now has access to Lexia Core reading and access at individual schools and classrooms is accelerating quickly. In my visits to classrooms in the past several weeks, I'm encouraged to see the program in use and fully engaging students in learning. Our districtwide implementation is in the earliest phases, and are looking forward to seeing tangible results soon."
Power Reading utilizes Lexia Reading and Reading Plus software, individualized and internet-based learning programs that are accessible to students at any time. The program was launched under United Way of Santa Barbara County's 10-year county-wide initiative, United for Literacy, which aims to increase on-time graduation rates and improve all students' reading levels.
United for Literacy was developed to reach two community identified 10 year goals: increase on-time graduation rates by 50% and increase the percentage of students reading at or above grade level in every grade by 50%.
"It's essential for our community's students to have a high level of literacy so that they can have the opportunities to become the greatest version of themselves," said Steve Ortiz, Executive Vice President & COO of United Way of Santa Barbara County. "Not only does this program address the needs of our students on personal level, but collectively it is actively contributing to creating an educated society that can positively transform the future."
The first phase of the implementation will span a three-year period, from August 2016 to August 2019. Lexia Reading software will be made available to students, teachers, and parents throughout the Goleta Unified School District. GUSD will directly manage all sites, identify participants, oversee day-to-day programming, develop and manage daily schedules, and provide teacher staffing. As lead agency, UWSBC will work in coordination with GUSD to provide teacher training and ongoing teacher support; identify/advise on national best practices; manage evaluations; provide wraparound services during out-of-school time hours; provide resource development services; and coordinate community volunteer opportunities to further accelerate student growth.
The software is fun, user-friendly, and adaptive in nature. Throughout the three-year period, United Way of Santa Barbara County staff will collaborate with the Goleta Unified School District to improve and customize the system to the learning pace of each student. This program will also equip teachers with specified metric data that reports the needs of each child and encourages parents to be active participants in their children's education.
Current Supporters of the GUSD Literacy Partnership Campaign:
Berkshire Hathaway/The Charitable Foundation
Bob and Robin Howard-Anderson
Goleta Union School District
Lance Connor and Nancy Werner
Mike and Dale Nissenson
Montecito Bank and Trust
Rudi Schulte Family Foundation
Santa Cruz Markets/Tom Modugno
United Way of Santa Barbara County
Walter and Holly Thomson Foundation