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Top in the state

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Meridian Elementary fourth-grade teacher Leah Schuch helps Cassie Ronaldson during class Tuesday afternoon. Ronaldson was recently ranked first in the State of Indiana and 24th in the nation, because of her participation in the Ticket to Read program. [Order this photo]
* Area student ranked among nation's best in program

Cassie Ronaldson, 10, is one of the students at Meridian Elementary benefiting from a new program called Ticket to Read, which is a product of the Voyager Expanded Learning Company.

Ronaldson, the daughter of Stephanie and Steven Ronaldson, enjoys the program.

"I like it more than Harry Potter," she said.

The program is an interactive online reading program, which is designed to strengthen the students reading fluency, comprehension skills and vocabulary development.

"Each student is tested to see what their reading level is," fourth-grade teacher Leah Schuch said. "The students are then encouraged to log onto the Internet using their username and password. After reading a set amount of passages, the length and words per minute goals gradually increase with each student."

One of the features Schuch and other teachers at Meridian enjoy is the students can access the program at home.

"Struggling children can receive extra help at home," Schuch said. "The can learn at their own pace, but still increase their reading level and speed."

Ticket to Read offers students the chance to increase their reading level, while providing motivation in the ticket rewards that students receive when completing different activities. Students redeem the tickets, which they can use to decorate a clubhouse.

Students are awarded different colors in ribbon based on the amount of questions that they answer correctly on quizzes. Trophies are then awarded at the completion of a reading level, which is after 30-40 passages are completed.

"It isn't a video game, but the students love it," Meridian Elementary Principal Karen Phillips said. "This program motivates and causes interest in reading, which is the goal."

Students work for the rewards they receive at the end of the level, and by doing this they increase their reading level.

"Teachers observed the program, and decided after seeing the results at other school corporations that it was something worth being involved in." she said.

The money used to purchase the program was used from a Title 1 grant and the results are speaking for themselves.

"We have had nothing but positive feedback from parents, students and teachers," Philips said. "The program is working."

Ronaldson, who started out at level 9 is already up to level 11.

"I like that I can do the reading activities at school and at home," she said. "I really like to use the tickets to buy stuff in the clubhouse.

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you go girl

-- Posted by 2dogbob on Fri, Jan 23, 2009, at 10:57 AM

sounds like a great program! Keep up the good work.

-- Posted by sexybrunette on Fri, Jan 23, 2009, at 12:15 PM

Way to go Cassie.......

-- Posted by Insidious on Fri, Jan 23, 2009, at 12:46 PM

Way to go............

-- Posted by Insidious on Fri, Jan 23, 2009, at 12:47 PM

Way to go Girl...........

-- Posted by Insidious on Fri, Jan 23, 2009, at 12:48 PM

Is this being used at all Clay County schools?

-- Posted by Delta1916 on Fri, Jan 23, 2009, at 1:08 PM

that's my granddaughter!

-- Posted by 2dogbob on Fri, Jan 23, 2009, at 2:13 PM

Congratulations - knew you could do it ~ Nana

-- Posted by 1dogbob on Fri, Jan 23, 2009, at 2:34 PM

congratulations I knew you could do it Nana

-- Posted by Natasha1 on Fri, Jan 23, 2009, at 2:53 PM

I am so proud of Cassie! VERY VERY GOOD JOB!!!!

-- Posted by My_hometown on Sun, Jan 25, 2009, at 10:39 PM

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