PURCHASE, N.Y. -- A three-year pilot program using phonics to teach literacy to children at Edison School in Port Chester has proved so successful that Purchase's Manhattanville College, the co-sponsor of the program along with the Reading Reform Foundation (RRF) of New York, has established a new institute to teach phonics at its School of Education.
Two specific examples of improvement at Edison School stood out: first-grade classrooms attained an overall average of 88 percent for oral reading fluency accuracy (how well children read individual letters and words aloud); and in kindergarten classrooms with an RRF trained teacher, 21 of 25 children reached benchmark status for early reading skill development.
RRF’s founder, Sandra Rose, was so inspired by the positive results of the program that she donated $1.2 million over three years to establish the Rose Institute for Learning and Literacy at the college.
“The results of the pilot program are very uplifting and a generous $1.2 million gift will allow us to sustain and expand its success,” Jon Strauss, president of Manhattanville said in a statement.
The donation will be used to hire a professor and director of the Institute, and, over three years, to conduct an in-school practicum for 15 teachers in the mid-Hudson region. Courses for the Institute’s graduate and certificate program at Manhattanville are expected to begin in the summer of 2014.