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Angeles County | Community News File / Inglewood

District Gets Grant to Expand Phonics Program

January 24, 1998

The Inglewood Unified School District has received a $225,000 grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to train 147 teachers in the district to use the Open Court Reading Program, a phonics-based technique.

For more than a decade, the district has used Open Court at Bennett Kew and Kelso elementary schools. Educators credit it with raising test scores in first through third grades and making the two schools the highest-ranking academic schools in the district.

"In our school, reading and test scores are on grade level," said Lorraine Fong, assistant principal at Bennett Kew.

"The money that the district has received will train other teachers to use the same program we have had so much success with."

Inglewood is one of eight districts in the state participating in the foundation's Reading Lions Program.

"We want to determine to what extent putting well-trained reading coaches in schools will improve reading," said Alice Furry, assistant superintendent for the Sacramento County office of education, which oversees the program.

"Inglewood is almost a testimonial to the fact that if students have phonemic awareness in kindergarten and continue to work with phonics in first grade, kids will learn to read by the end of first grade."

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