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Second Chance Reading

July 14, 2009

Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency Leads Area Schools in Second Chance Reading


Research shows young adults entering post secondary schools and the job market lack the necessary literacy skills to meet demands. The Iowa Department of Education, in conjunction with Dr. Beverly Showers, created a program to provide Iowa teachers the necessary training and skills needed to increase academic achievement by improving the literacy skills of intermediate and secondary students. This collaborative effort is known as the Second Chance Reading program.


The goal of Second Chance Reading is to accelerate the growth of reading comprehension for middle and high school students who are reading below grade level. In addition to increasing reading comprehension, the program also targets vocabulary development and reading fluency. The program incorporates several research based instructional components which students find engaging and motivating, as well as relevant and meaningful.


The Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency (AEA) has two Second Chance Reading trainers on staff to meet the needs of Area Nine schools approved for instruction. After acceptance, schools/districts select teachers and administrators to attend training. The training is intensive, ongoing and has proven successful in both urban and rural settings. Trainers also ensure that participating teachers and their students receive ongoing support in their respective classrooms.


In 2008-2009, eight out of the nine schools participating showed an increase in reading comprehension and vocabulary; averaging just over one grade equivalent growth from fall to spring testing. The school with the highest gain in reading comprehension (+3.4 grade equivalents), also showed the highest loyalty to the Second Chance Reading Model. The program currently underway consists of 27 teachers and administrators, from six Area Nine School Districts, to serve 372 students.


Teachers, practicing Second Chance Reading, have seen the growth in their students’ academic success and motivation. This inspires teachers to continue their worthwhile efforts and become strong advocates of the program.


If you have any questions about the Mississippi Bend AEA’s Second Chance Reading program please contact Janet Stos at 563-344-6392 or Pat Upchurch at 563-344-6434.

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