(Guest post from Reginald Mosley, and Oakland parent and member of the Oakland REACH)
This past summer my children took part in the OUSD Springboard. I was skeptical putting them into this program at first but I knew I wanted them to be in a reading program over the summer. This program is well worth the time and effort in order to enhance your child’s reading.
With all the programs available I felt this was the best choice for us at this particular time in our learning. While they both were at reading level, I wanted more out of them. I also felt the continuation of an actual school format would be good for them.
I was pleasantly surprised at what I learned from the program. I was already reading to my children but I was not challenging them as I read. I learned that I should ask questions before, during and after reading. This includes every page. This process does prolong the reading time but it more importantly engages them in the story and gets them to think about what is going on and articulate their thoughts. I found that to be very important for them to express their ideas and stretch their imaginations.
The program recommends that children read by themselves for 10 minutes then read with their parent/guardian for 20 minutes. I started out thinking there was no way I could read with them for an hour (I have three children). But I quickly figured out that I could work on other tasks as long as I was close by and active. If they happen to run into some difficulty while they were reading I would have them spell the word then sound it out which often helped. They would ask questions like what does this word mean and we would start that conversation by reviewing what’s going on in the pictures and the flow of the sentence in question. Many times, they would come up with examples of how they experienced similar things to what was taking place in the pictures. I started to see reading as more of a family time experience that a task which made it more enjoyable for me.
The hours of the program were basically the same as regular school hours which worked well with my schedule. I questioned the requirement to have an in home interview but I was able to work that out with the individual teachers. The application was longer than I would have liked for it to have been but not to the point that I did not want to complete it. There were a few questions that I did not want to answer and I just wrote on the application that I was not going to answer them. I was not questioned concerning my response.
Springboard 2019 is something I would highly suggest that you truly consider. Each of my children increased their reading by three (3) levels. My daughter has increased her love of reading and her activities around the house are more geared towards education than general play. My son, whose interactions were also very positive, is another story and I am working on him.