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Two Grants will Fund Reading Improvement Research


UC Riverside’s Graduate School of Education Receives Grants to Fund Reading Improvement Research

The two U.S. Department of Education grants total more than $2.5 million.

(April 7, 2005)

UC Riverside’s Graduate School of Education (GSOE) has received two grants from the federal government to study the most efficient ways to teach and understand the fundamentals of reading.

“These grants will fund important research that will focus on developing methods to help struggling students to become better readers and to improve teaching strategies in the area of reading," said Steven Bossert, dean of GSOE.“ This is important because students who read well tend to be more successful in all aspects of schooling.”

One $1.54 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Education will focus on the development of reading comprehension skills of third through sixth graders in southern California public schools.

The three-year grant, titled The Read-Write Cycle: An Integrated Model for Instruction and Assessment of Reading Comprehension through Reading and Writing in the Disciplines, aims to raise student reading achievement through research-based reading and writing activities in subjects such as science, social studies and mathematics.

The project, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences Program of Research in Reading Comprehension, will be directed by Robert C. Calfee, distinguished professor of education at GSOE and Roxanne Greitz Miller, assistant professor of education at Chapman University.

Project activities will begin this June. In its first year, the project will train teachers in proven techniques for teaching reading comprehension in the content areas. Teachers will work collaboratively to develop lessons that they will use in their classes in the second and third years. During these years, researchers will observe and evaluate the students on their progress in multiple areas of reading comprehension.

The second grant, awarded to UCR GSOE professors Rollanda O’Connor and Lee Swanson for just over $1 million, also came from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences Program of Research in Reading Comprehension. The grant will fund a research project titled Variations in Procedures to Improve Reading Fluency and Comprehension.

During the three-year project the researchers will develop, evaluate and implement ways to improve approaches for advancing the reading fluency (rate) and comprehension of struggling readers.

Their work will be done is local schools, said O’Connor.

She said she feels that the results from the study may have a resounding effect on the way students are taught reading and reading comprehension

“The information we learn from this research will contribute to our preparation of teachers here at the university and provide research opportunities for doctoral students who are interested in improving education for children in public schools.”

The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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