OAKLAND, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Showing growth in student achievement, reducing student achievement gaps, and increasing digital skills in reading and writing are part of Montana’s long-term goals for student success. To target the root causes of reading difficulty and close achievement gaps, a growing number of Montana districts are implementing the neuroscience-based Fast ForWord® program from Scientific Learning Corp. (OTC PINK: SCIL).
East Helena Public Schools is the most recent Montana district to launch or expand its Fast ForWord implementation. East Helena will roll out the online language and reading intervention in summer school and then use it in grades K-3 this fall. The district purchased the Fast ForWord program with a Montana Comprehensive Literacy Project (MCLP) grant, funded through the federal Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Program. The purpose of the grant is to advance reading, writing, and digital literacy skills in students, with an emphasis on disadvantaged children including those who are living in poverty, English language learners, and students with disabilities.
“Despite using research-based, high quality programs and best teaching practices, our Tier 2 and Tier 3 students were not making the gains needed to close the achievement gap,” said Wristine Senecal, an instructional coach at Eastgate School in East Helena. “We serve a large population of students from disadvantaged subgroups, including students in poverty. With poverty, many children experience chronic stress and trauma, which can impact the development of executive function skills. We wanted to implement a program that could help with skills like cognitive capacity and working memory, and address students’ readiness to learn.”
Developed by neuroscientists, Fast ForWord uses a unique three-step approach to deliver fast gains to struggling students. It provides students with the foundational language and cognitive skills, intensive practice, and guided reading support that they need to catch up, once and for all.
“We did a free trial of Fast ForWord in 2016, after doing a book study on Eric Jensen’s ‘Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind,’” said Senecal. “With the MCLP grant, we can now fund this program to help students build their working memory, attention, and processing skills in tandem with their language and reading skills.”
For information, visit www.scientificlearning.com.