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October 02, 2008

Re "Reading shouldn't be a numbers game," Sept. 30

Regina Powers is dead on about reading programs. My son's elementary school used the Accelerated Reader program. If kids were not on track to earn the required points, they would have to sit out recess to read.

These kids now associate reading as punishment, which is counterintuitive to developing a love of reading. No book could be read twice, and finding enough points was a chore, not a joy.

It was enough to nearly squelch my son's budding love for books. Now in middle school, he is happy he can read what he wants and simply enjoy it. Isn't that the point?

Karen Francis

Santa Ana

As with most things in education, correct implementation of a program makes a big difference in outcomes. We use Accelerated Reader at my campus because it encourages children to read more.

It is tell-tale sign that a parent or student who comes to the library to select a book based only on its point level is misunderstanding how the program is intended to be used.

AR software allows students, parents and teachers to monitor reading. Students are guided toward books that they should be able to read independently. The quiz format allows the teacher to keep track of the student's basic comprehension.

Students are given free choice to select books that are within their individual reading range. Each student's reading goal is individualized to their ability and need for support and/or challenge.

David Cisneros

Highland

The writer is principal of Highland Grove Elementary.

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