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St. John students make progress with reading program

MADISON – A concerning statistic: Approximately 65 percent of America’s fourth-graders read at or below their grade level. Teachers at St. John the Baptist Catholic School have implemented new reading concepts into classrooms to nurture better readers.

“The first three years of school are a critical time for children to learn foundational skills for reading development,” St. John Principal Sherry Lewis said. “Laying this foundation is crucial for success in a more advanced curriculum in which students are going beyond learning to read and are now reading to learn.”

To help students gain reading confidence and skills, St. John teachers in grades K-3 completed training in a research-based multisensory approach to reading instruction with Neuhaus Education Center.

“Our teachers are dedicated to giving students the best start possible in the learning journey,” Lewis said. “Not all students learn in the same way or at the same pace, and our teachers want to help be that bridge to help them.”

During 30 hours, nine teachers learned research-based methods to help improve students’ reading. During professional development sessions, they learned multisensory approaches to reading instruction. They also reviewed strategies to assist students in accurately reading words and attach meaning to the words.

“I am always grateful to learn new techniques to help any students excel and be the best that they can be,” kindergarten teacher Sarah Beth Glasier said.

With personal instruction from teachers and additional help from support staff that includes a resource teacher, St. John provides students the opportunity to succeed and flourish in their academic endeavors, Lewis said.

“The Neuhaus training has allowed our teachers to be better equipped for today’s learners and to give our students a boost,” Lewis said. “Providing students a solid foundation to prepare them for their next academic level is part of our mission.”

St. John is a Catholic, co-educational school in Madison for grades K4-8 and serves North Alabama. Founded in 1996, St. John the Baptist School is sponsored by the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama.

The school holds accreditation from AdvancED (the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) and membership in the National Catholic Education Association.

St. John’s address is 1057 Hughes Road. For more information, call 256-722-0772, email slewis@stjohnb.com or visit stjohnb.com. 

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