Read Oregon: An Oregon Collaborative for Improvement of K-12 Literacy

formerly known as CREADE
Collaborative Reading Education And Distance Education

About ReadOregon

THE NEED FOR LITERACY EDUCATION

The ESEA "No Child Left Behind" Act of 2001, Oregon's "Reading First" program, the focus on K-12 literacy by the State Action for Education Leadership Project (SAELP), the state's goal of having a reading specialist in every school, and Title I requirements all point to a great need for increased competencies in literacy learning on the part of Oregon's preK-12 teachers.

WHAT IS READ OREGON?

Through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), five of Oregon's public university teacher education programs developed more than 40 new, primarily online, literacy courses and modules. This grant was known as CREADE (Collaborative Reading Education And Distance Education). The CREADE program is unique in that the universities used statewide course numbers, established a common curriculum of shared courses from participating universities, offered the courses through distance education so that teachers throughout the state can participate, and allowed enrollees to take courses meeting their professional development needs from any of the participating universities in an effort to better qualify teachers in the area of reading and literacy.

The grant ended summer 2005, but the collaborative literacy program established by the five universities is continuing as ReadOregon.org. The ReadOregon consortium offers three programs: a 24-credit TSPC-approved Reading Endorsement program, a 12-credit literacy education course of study for general classroom teachers, and a courses-only option, and has been offering courses since spring 2003. ReadOregon courses encompass 7 thematic areas (literacy foundations; literacy strategies and methods; literacy for diverse learners; literacy assessment; leadership in school reading programs; literature; and practicum) and 4 authorization levels (early childhood, elementary, middle school, and high school).

NEWSLETTERS

COMPARATIVE COURSE EVALUATIONS

Term-by-term comparison of course evaluation summaries. Also, see examples of responses to open-ended questions such as "How are you teaching differently as a result of this course?"

SUPPORT FROM OREGON K-12 PRINCIPALS

Letters of support for the CREADE program from 27 principals at schools throughout Oregon.

THE READING PROCESS

Reading is both the acquisition of information and the making of meaning. Not only do readers take information from the printed page, they bring to the act of reading their own knowledge, experience, cultural background, and personality, all of which affect how they understand a text. For this reason the reading process is always a complex interaction between text and reader. The text gives clues and the reader uses strategies. We call textual clues, the "cueing systems" of written language because they guide readers as they attempt to decode and comprehend text. The major cueing systems are grapho-phonemics (letter to sound correspondences), syntax (the grammatical structure of language) and semantics (the meanings of words and phrases). The strategies beginning readers use include sounding-out unfamiliar words, chunking words into parts, drawing analogies between known and unknown words, and predicting from what has already been read. But there are also more sophisticated strategies that become available as readers grow in experience, confidence and competence.

SCHOOL LITERACY PROGRAMS

The purpose of a school literacy program is to enhance individual and civic life in a democratic society. To individuals, reading and writing are effective tools for work, play, social interaction and spiritual fulfilment. To society, they are a powerful force for expanding and maintaining our ideals of freedom, equality, compassion and peace. To achieve these goals a school literacy program must pervade the entire school curriculum and operation. Teachers and students need to read, speak and write continually as they gather and disseminate information, formulate arguments, express ideas, opinions and feelings, describe and explain, and take action. Teachers in an effective literacy program use a variety of validated methodologies and resources for all students and provide additional help to struggling students. Phonemic awareness and phonics are necessary tools for beginning readers, but comprehension and critical analysis are also needed. These thinking tools gain importance as readers progress and texts become more complex. It is the job of the reading teacher to make students aware of all the cueing systems and strategies available to them and to facilitate their use through instruction and practice.


ReadOregon is a consortium of five Colleges/Schools of Education of the Oregon University System
in cooperation with OUS Departments of Distance and Continuing Education.
The ReadOregon programs were developed with grant funds from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), U.S. Dept. of Education

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