Target, The University of Minnesota Center for Reading and Research and Minnesota Reading Corps announced in June the six Minneapolis Public Schools where they are set to launch a new reading initiative in next fall.
Target will donate $6 million to pilot PRESS, or Path to Reading Excellence in School Sites, at the schools, including Marcy Open and Pillsbury Elementary schools in Northeast. The initiative aims to keep students on-track for reading proficiently by the end of third grade, a key indicator of future academic success.
Approximately 6,000 K–3 students in Minneapolis are in danger of missing that goal, Target noted when announcing the program.
PRESS is a literacy intervention framework based on the 2004–2009 Minnesota Reading First School Change in Reading Program, also know as MN Reading First. MN Reading First served 17 schools in Minneapolis and St. Paul and had success when student assessment showed progress in vocabulary, comprehension, word recognition and fluency.
PRESS hopes to follow suit using four key techniques including; quality core instruction, professional development, data-based decision making and tiered interventions and support. The program takes special care to include English-language learning students in its framework.
Assessments will be based on tailored lessons that address phonemic awareness, the alphabetic principles, fluency, vocabulary, oral language development and reading comprehension based on individuals previously assessed needs.
English-language learning students will be assessed on theses as well as a deeper development of oral language and vocabulary based on background knowledge and cultural factors.