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ERIC Number: EJ868941
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1529-8957
The Reading-Ready Brain
Kolonay, Deborah J.; Kelly-Garris, Kathy
Principal Leadership, v10 n4 p48-53 Dec 2009
How does one build connections with students who do not feel they are part of the school community? Penn-Trafford High School in Harrison City, Pennsylvania, always seemed to have a number of students who felt no connection to the school or their classmates. They skipped class or didn't participate when they did attend. They were prime candidates to drop out. They also shared another common factor: they were poor readers. For years, the school had implemented a variety of interventions to confront adolescent illiteracy. Teachers provided direct instruction in reading, writing, and vocabulary skills. They used high-interest literature. The school implemented print and computer-based reading programs and conducted professional development. Some students, however, continued to struggle. They experienced not only academic challenges but also low self-esteem, behavior problems, and feelings of hopelessness. They thought that reading was too hard, that school was a waste of time, and that teachers didn't care enough to really help them. Teachers, on the other hand, sometimes thought that those students weren't trying hard enough to help themselves or that they didn't care to learn. As a result, there was a widening gap between students and teachers in the classroom--that is, until the school changed the way it approached instruction by shifting the focus from reading skills to the reading-ready brain. This article describes how Penn-Trafford School District's emphasis on technology and brain-based learning has strengthened the connections in students' brains to improve their capacity to learn now and in the future. The teachers and staff members have also strengthened students' connections to one another, to their teachers, and to the school.
National Association of Secondary School Principals. 1904 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1537. Tel: 800-253-7746; Tel: 703-860-0200; Fax: 703-620-6534; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania