Oscar J. Polk Elementary School Attracts Media Attention for Extended Day Program with American Reading Company

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Oscar J. Polk Elementary School’s dramatic transformation from a failing school in 2009 to a Grade B in 2010 and 2011 is garnering statewide attention in Florida.

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Jane Hileman, Founder and CEO of American Reading Company, “Oscar J. Polk Elementary School is a shining example of the results that can be achieved through a relentless and collective focus by school leadership, teachers, parents, and students."

In 2010 Oscar J. Polk Elementary School implemented an extended day program during which students focus on independent reading as part of the ACTION 100 Response to Intervention (RTI) program from American Reading Company. These programs have been made possible through a federally funded School Improvement Grant (SIG), administered by the Florida Department of Education. Fox News Tampa Bay reporter Ken Suarez profiled this turnaround success story, which was broadcast in February, and can be viewed here.

“Our extended day program is driven by academic rigor using the ACTION 100 reading program,” explained Angie Gordon, principal at Oscar J. Polk Elementary School. “Through daily formative assessment built on the Common Core State Standards and a robust data monitoring system, our teachers are providing ongoing individualized instruction for every student.”

Research shows that most students who are behind in reading are behind because they haven’t read enough. ACTION 100 changes this as students are expected to read for an hour a day—30 minutes at school and 30 minutes at home—which equates to 200 hours per school year. For the second year in a row, the school’s principal and teachers have undergone 30 days of elbow-to-elbow training to master research-based teaching methods aligned to the Common Core State Standards. As of today, 91.8% of the students at the school are reading at least one hour a day, and the entire school culture has been transformed around reading.

According to Jane Hileman, Founder and CEO of American Reading Company, “Oscar J. Polk Elementary School is a shining example of the results that can be achieved through a relentless and collective focus by school leadership, teachers, parents, and students. I congratulate the entire school community on their continued success.”

About American Reading Company
American Reading Company transforms school cultures to create sustainable academic achievement through training, management, and monitoring. The company was founded in 1998 and is based in King of Prussia, PA. Today, more than a million students in 2,100 schools across 420 districts in 41 states participate in the company’s programs, which include ACTION 100, 100 BOOK CHALLENGE and RESEARCH LABS.

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Leza Raffel
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