Grace Montessori School Provides New Summer Reading Program for Select Students

Grace Montessori School (GMS) in Allentown, Pennsylvania, is a richly diverse school committed to the philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori. The school strives to educate children cognitively, spiritually, and physically in classroom environments that are inviting and well-equipped with developmentally designed materials.​​ Through their new fully-funded Multisensory Summer Reading Program, teachers and staff are currently sustaining the growth of  1st,  2nd, and 3rd-grade students enrolled in the school who are performing below grade level in reading and spelling. Through funds carried over from a foundation grant to provide tuition support in the 2021-2022 school year, this program is free for participating students.

Ms. Jessie tutors three kids with flash cards Running from June 21 to August 18, 2022, the Multisensory Summer Reading Program addresses key learning opportunities for those who are at risk of stalling or lapsing their reading during the summer. To prevent them from falling behind, each student is participating in two, 45 minute-long lessons per week over the course of eight weeks. Ms. Jessica Meyers, an elementary teacher and dyslexia certified practitioner, is instructing each individualized lesson. During her sessions, Ms. Meyers addresses each student’s specific needs, as demonstrated by their test scores in spelling and reading. The multisensory lessons are delivered in an explicit, structured, and cumulative manner through the Orton-Gillingham approach—a direct, sequential, diagnostic, and prescriptive way to teach literacy.

The staff at Grace Montessori take pride in aiding their students and strive to ensure their success in academia—especially with reading comprehension— as a recent study showed reading fluency among second and third-graders in the U.S. is roughly 30 percent behind what would be expected in a typical year.

“We never want our children to fall behind their peers or even feel like they might,” says Radhika Hoshing, director at Grace Montessori, a teacher in the elementary program, and certified dyslexia practitioner. “In this program, we are strengthening our students’ skills so they can continue to thrive during the next school year.  This program is special because it truly delves into the Montessori philosophy. Our environment is designed to meet the needs of the children at any stage and allows them to absorb the world around them to develop their maximum potential.”

To gauge the success of the program, the students completed a pre-test at the beginning of the summer and will participate in post-testing after the program. They’ll also take a Phonological Awareness Screening Test (PAST), a reliable and accurate test that reports the child’s ability to differentiate sounds. Grace Montessori’s goal is for all students to improve their level of reading and comprehension, bringing them closer to reading on par and with their peers.

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