Beacon News

Reading is Fundamental Now for Beacon Reading Ambassadors

| Student News

Reading Students
Dr. Bonni Boschee listens as Beacon Reading Ambassadors address peers.

In the 2000 movie “Pay it Forward,” a social studies teacher challenges her class to hatch an idea that would improve the world. One young student takes it on and develops a plan for “paying forward” favors that touches off a tsunami of national kindness on the big screen.

In real life, two Beacon College students this week put that principle into practice. Once struggling readers, the pair returned to the remediation Reading Strategies class that helped them boost their reading prowess as “reading ambassadors.” Their job: encourage and support a new crop of students looking to strengthen their bookish skills.

Kelton Doby and Roman Hampton joined fellow reading ambassadors Jack Andriozzi and Alice Chiech in group pep talks on February 26 to discuss their successful journeys to college-level reading, to serve as real-life examples of improved literacy, and to answer questions about the Read2Soar system. Reading ambassadors are Beacon students who aced the Reading Strategies course in the first semester and now read at the college level.

Hearing from peers who were once in her shoes “is a confidence booster,” said Sydni Sugar. “Regardless of where you start, you can grow.”

Dr. Bonni Boschee, an assistant professor of humanities at Beacon College, developed Read2Soar during her post-doctoral studies at the University of South Dakota. Her three-pronged system uses diagnostic tests to measure current reading, spelling, and phonics prowess to establish baselines. Students endure multiple repetitions of multisensory phonics lessons aligned to their baseline levels. It includes reading at their current levels and listening to literature two levels above their zones. Students trained 30 minutes daily, six days a week, listening and reading.

In the fall, staffers tested reading strategies course students. Ninety-four percent of the 36 freshmen read below 11th grade levels. With Read2Soar, 82 percent of students by November rose to 11th grade reading levels.

Doby and Hampton are the payoff.

Both fielded questions and shared advice. Read between classes. Listen to books while walking to classes. This, and more, they said, helps pump up your reading muscles.

In the end, Stephon Ray was encouraged.

“What I took away from them is to never give up and to keep moving forward,” Ray said.