Become a Speed Reader at NAU

Allyssa Gauer, Columnist

Approximately 60 percent of students learning to read proficiently (third/fourth grade), cannot do so, according to Literacy Facts. That means that only 40 percent of fourth grade students can read fluently. Struggling students need some extra help to succeed.  Luckily, programs such as the Reading Skills and Speed Program are helping to solve this problem, but they aren’t just stopping there.

Horizon Honors partnered with Northern Arizona University (NAU) to offer students a chance to improve not just reading, but other necessary skills. While students are enrolled in this program,  their reading speed, note taking skills, reading skills, and studying skills will improve. Although this program is directed at students in grades 6-12, it is also open to pretty much any and all ages, including college students and adults. These participants are taught by advisers from the Institute of Reading Development, and will meet once a week for lessons.

Since the program hasn’t started, and won’t start until June of this year, their techniques of decreasing reading speed and improving other skills are unknown to us. Possible strategies could be something similar to the “Pointer Method” which consists of using your finger to follow the lines and focus on what your reading, as stated in Mindtools. Another way could be simple repetition; as the old saying goes, “practice makes perfect.”

With this program comes many benefits, one of these being that since students can read at a quicker pace, they will complete their homework faster than before, especially if it involves large amounts of reading. Typically when homework is done faster, you have more free time to spend doing things you enjoy. The program is also said to develop studying skills, so test grades consequently improve. Testing is a huge part of life, especially in school, so this program should boost student grades.

The Reading Skills and Speed Program is a great way to entertain yourselves over the summer break. Even if you already are a decent reader, you could still drop by to improve those reading skills!