Spotlight on Eighth Grade, Northwest Region, First Place Team: Reading Doctors

Four eighth graders from West Branch Middle School in West Branch, Iowa, received a first-place award in this year’s national eCYBERMISSION competition. With this award, each team member will receive a $3,000.00 U.S. EE Savings Bond, a certificate of recognition from the U.S. Army and an expenses paid trip to the National Judging and Education Event in Baltimore, Md., in June to present their final projects.

The “Reading Doctors” team, comprised of students Emily Corr, Nathan Juels, Ryan O’Neil and Kara Rex, and led by Team Advisor Hector Ibarra, was recognized by judges for its investigation into determining whether first grade students who do not qualify to receive supplemental reading support, yet still read below their grade level, improve their reading skills after receiving early intervention. The students identified which children at their local elementary school read below their grade level requirements and utilized various methods to increase their literary skills.

The students found their hypothesis to be correct, and they look forward to seeing how their community reaps the benefits of more confident and positive children in years to come.  From the data collected, the Reading Doctors determined that they provided additional one-on-one support to 32 percent of the first graders who were below grade level, and certified staff provided individual attention to 10 percent of students. Results indicated that twice the amount of children who were proficient with sight words prior to the experiment were proficient at its completion. In addition, many of the children moved up a reading level and expressed a greater interest in reading during their free time.

To view a full list of the 2009-2010 eCYBERMISSION regional winning teams, click here.


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