West Virginia Receives International Reading Association Five Star Policy Award

March 01, 2004

Charleston, W. Va. - West Virginia is one of only two states to receive the Five Star Policy Award. West Virginia has demonstrated that it guarantees quality education and student achievement by implementing excellent reading policies, programs, and initiatives. West Virginia and Wisconsin are the only states this year to earn the International Reading Associationís (IRA) Five-Start Policy Award.  

The IRA advocates that all children have a right to excellent reading instruction. Making sure students receive this instruction requires a combination of factors, including state-level commitment.  

The source of earning this award is IRAs Making A Difference by Making It Different: Honoring Childrenís Rights to Excellence in Reading Instruction. This statement of principles guides effective reading program development. The five principles include: 1) teacher quality; 2) reader support and assistance; 3) reading material and technology access; 4) teaching methods; and 5) reading assessment. This task is enormous and is easier when states formulate and implement sound educational reading policies.  

Receiving the award is a two-phase process that spans two years. In the first year the state must first provide documentation that supports each of the five principles. In the second year the IRA randomly selects a large pool of educators to verify that they are aware of the stateís efforts to improve reading achievement.  

Representatives of the West Virginia Department of Education will receive the award at the Associationís 49th annual convention in Reno-Lake Tahoe, Nevada at the Council Awards Celebration on Sunday, May 2, 2004. Only four other states have previously received this prestigious award.  

For further information contact Beverly Kingery, WVDE reading coordinator at phone (304) 558-7805 or email bkingery@access.k12.wv.us .

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