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Front Page » September 30, 2004 » Local News » Petersen Elementary receives $75,000 for literacy pilot p...
Published 4,022 days ago

Petersen Elementary receives $75,000 for literacy pilot project

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Sen. Mike Dmitrich and Rep. Brad King receive a check from Scott Anderson, President of Zions Bank for the Waterford Early Reading Program to be used at Petersen Elementary. Nearly $75,000 in funds and software were contributed to the program.

The Carbon School District has joined Zions Bank, Pearson Digital Learning and the Waterford Institute in a pilot project designed to help young students learn to read.

Two Utah schools, one urban and one rural, have been selected for the program. Petersen Elementary in East Carbon is Utah's rural selection while a Granite District school was the urban selection.

The three-year program will provide nine computer stations for kindergarten, first and second grade students at Petersen. The computers will be used by students learning to read with the Waterford Early Reading Program.

According to Petersen Principal Karen Houser, meeting the current No Child Left Behind legislation will be a lot more feasible with the project funding and tools.

"Our schools are truly committed to "leaving no child behind", but the challenge is to spread precious resources as far as they will go to accomplish that goal. When a community partner such as Zions Bank steps forward to help bridge that financial gap so that our students can make the progress we know is possible, we are so grateful," she indicated. "The staff here at Petersen Elementary School extend our heartfelt thanks to Zions Bank and Pearson Learning for making the Waterford Program available to our students. This exemplary program is not one we could have purchased on our own, but through the generosity of these two businesses, great things will be possible for Petersen students."

With a $22,660.50 contribution from Zions Bank, $21,600 from Pearson Digital Learning and $30,329.50 from the Carbon School District, the funding for the project totals $74,590.

The reading program uses motivating software, continual assessment, classroom lessons and a full set of student take-home materials to present explicit and systematic instruction for learning to read.

The program is used currently in over 13,000 sites serving 350,000 students. The Waterford Early Reading Program was created by Waterford Institute, a non-profit organization devoted to research and development of the Waterford programs.

Dr. David Armstrong, superintendent of the Carbon School District, said the district is excited to join in the partnership to provide more literacy opportunities for the Petersen students.

"Students and faculty are excited about the Waterford Project and the ability to enhance our literacy program through the use of computers," he commented.

Zions Bank provided a cash contribution for the project, while Pearson Digital Learning contributed the software.

The Carbon School District provided additional funding through matching these donations to obtain funds from Gov. Olene Walker's Reading Achievement Program adopted by the 2004 legislature. The donations assisted the Carbon District to obtain the state funds without a tax increase like many other districts have done.

The Carbon School District and Petersen Elementary will also provide ongoing implementation and monitoring of the program with the assistance of the Waterford Institute and Pearson Digital Learning.

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