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Six weeks might not seem long enough to accomplish anything significant, but for one learner in the pilot reading course offered through Illinois Valley Community College’s Adult Education Department, it was long enough to accomplish something she had tried to do many times before: finish reading a book.
“I am a changed person,” said Augustina Espinoza of Mendota upon completion of the course. “I am more confident, and I can see that the other students learned a lot, too. I hope they keep offering this program to help others.”
Espinoza was among four learners who completed the Evidence-Based Reading Instruction course by showing gains of one-half grade level to more than four grade levels on their reading post-tests. Learners also increased their vocabulary and improved their comprehension by applying strategies they were taught.
The course’s lead instructor Angela Dunlap of Princeton and Adult Education director Sara Escatel of Mendota completed 39 hours of training in Springfield before implementing the EBRI program this year as mandated by the Illinois Community College Board, the major funder of the Adult Education program.
The course is intended for learners who test between the fourth-grade and ninth-grade level on an Adult Education-administered reading test.
Learners who enroll in an EBRI course are assessed in four reading components – alphabetics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. Learners are then taught specific reading strategies to develop their abilities in the components where they need to improve. Class met for six hours each week for six weeks. With the help of I-READ volunteer tutor Amelia Lindstrom of Lostant, learners received individual attention they would not otherwise have had. Dunlap not only valued learners and their commitment to the course but also Lindstrom and her contributions to the class. Lindstrom was also appreciative of learners’ efforts.
“... I am, without a doubt, very glad I had this opportunity ... Everyone wants to be here, they want to learn and be reached and better themselves,” Lindstrom said.
The EBRI course is being taught this fall on Tuesday and Thursday nights by Edna McManus of Oglesby, who also attended the Springfield training. Other EBRI team members include Mary Gross of Peru, Luke Olivero of La Salle and Sandra Woest of Magnolia.
* Those interested in joining the EBRI class for the second eight weeks of the semester or becoming a volunteer tutor for the I-READ Adult Literacy Program may call Dunlap at (815) 224-0372 for information.
For information on other Adult Education offerings, call Cindy Lock at (815) 224-0358.
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