Finding the Thrill of the Skill

Published April 2023

Helping students improve their reading skill

Experts tell us a child’s ability to read at grade level by third grade is one of the greatest predictors of future success because this is when they transition from learning to read to reading to learn. That’s why our commitment to reading is stated in our strategic framework. We work hard to ensure every learner meets or exceeds the development milestones in literacy achievement throughout their journey in School District 197.

Our reading intervention program plays a big role in this work. The program exists in all grade levels but is most prominent in elementary schools to provide targeted support to students struggling with reading, so they can catch up to their peers and succeed academically.



Cracking the Code
Somerset Elementary Reading Interventionist Ellen Pommer sees the results of the intervention program every day. After regular screenings, flagged students are paired with Ellen to get a jumpstart on their reading. And this year, they already see a handful of students successfully exiting the intervention program.

“Our early intervention program includes consistent programming with direct, explicit instruction,” shares Ellen. “And we’re finding that it works; kids love it. They know what’s coming, and it meets their needs right where they are. The bonus is that the program aligns with the curriculum in the classroom. Hence, students make connections to what they’re already doing in class.”

For Ellen, the key is helping students crack the code of reading. “Once kids get it, they have significantly fewer barriers to learning. We know that early reading success predicts future academic success,” shares Ellen. “And learning to read well in elementary school protects students’ dignity when they are older. They can show up to middle school confident and ready to learn.”