WVDE Reading Academy Offers Educators New Ideas on Reading Education

July 27, 2004

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The West Virginia Department of Education is provided a "Reading Roundup" as part of the sixth annual Reading Academy. This year’s academy took place on July 19 and ran through July 23, at the Charleston Town Center Marriott.  

Twenty-five schools and 225 educators participatedin The Reading Academy. This year's guest speaker was Dr. Isabel Beck, a national vocabulary expert and Professor of Education in the School of Education and Senior Scientist at the Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh.  

“The Reading Academy is such an exciting way to learn new ideas and techniques for teaching reading,” said Beverly Kingery, Reading/Language Arts Coordinator for the Office of Instructional Services. “When our participants return to school they have renewed energy for reading and for teaching reading.”  

Throughout the week, participants intensively studied scientifically-based reading research, the five essential reading components and strategies necessary for student reading achievement in grades K-3.  

“The academy provides teachers with the necessary tools to close the gap for students who are experiencing difficulty in learning to read,” said David Stewart, State Schools Superintendent. “It is vital that the state focuses on reading achievement especially in light of West Virginia Achieves, the state’s No Child Left Behind plan, which requires all students to be reading at grade level by grade three.”  

Research indicates that professional development must be sustained to be effective and produce long-term results.  

The West Virginia Department of Education launched the Reading Academy in 1999 with the intent of providing intensive reading professional development to K-3 principals and teachers in low-performing schools. Since its beginning, the Reading Academy has hosted more than 650 educators from 105 schools.  

For more information regarding the Reading Academy, please contact Beverly Kingery, Reading/Language Arts Coordinator for Office of Instructional Services, at (304) 558-7805.

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