in Education: Sandra Priest Rose
its inception more than 20 years ago, the Reading Reform Foundation
of New York has given more than 3,000 teachers the tools necessary
to bring their students closer to what the Foundation characterizes
as a childs birthright to learn to read, write and spell accurately.
Foundation does so through training teachers to teach by using
all four sensory channels to the mind, while imparting a systematic,
phonetic approach to the language.
who knew that children could read, write and spell well, but
that the teachers were not trained to teach them established
the organization, according to Sandra Priest Rose, a founding
trustee of the Foundation who spent an early part of her career
working as a reading consultant in Community School District
9 in the Bronx.
had a wonderful year, she says of her experience in working
with one student, but she realized that the child did not learn
how to read. Rose vowed never to allow that to recur. Eager
to make a change, she enrolled in a course conducted by Romalda
Spalding, author of the The Writing Road to Reading.
She explained that the course offered her a new outlook on teaching
reading that she has promoted through the Reading Reform Foundation
to Rose, teachers welcomed the phonetic method and began encouraging
their principals to bring Reading Reform personnel into the
schools to work with them.
1981, 24 teachers were enrolled in the Foundations courses.
In the school year 2000-2001 that number increased to 242. In
the same 20-year period, 3,730 teachers attended the Foundations
courses, and 9,483 the Foundations annual conference. The 2002
conference is set to take place on November 10 at the NY Hilton
second component of training includes in-school teacher training,
which brings a Reading Reform trainer into the classroom to
work with a teacher for one year. The consultantwho returns
the second year for a brief period to follow up with the teacher
and to provide any additional supportassists the teacher in
implementing the Foundations phonetic method.
to Rose, trainers work in 48 classrooms and 22 schools in 12
school districts located in every borough except Staten Island.
The in-school teacher training has touched the lives of approximately
see ourselves as a teacher training organization, said Lauren
Wedeles, Executive Director of the Foundation. The year during
which we are working with them, the teachers are also learners.
of the courses offered this summer include Reading, Writing
& Spelling: A Multisensory Approach and The Writing Road
to Reading: A Comprehensive Introduction. According to Rose,
the techniques used are based on neurological and educational
have found that kids need to position themselves on paper, she
said, adding that they enforce accuracy in spelling, which is
important both for spelling and comprehension.We are making
English logical, intellectual and fun, she said.
Foundation has partnered with several principals who will assist
in tracking the progress made by students and teachers the Foundation
work is intensive. We would love to expand, but we dont want
to lose the quality of work that we do, said Rose. We want other
people to replicate what we do, but to do it as well as we do.#
more information visit www.readingreform.org.