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Boschee Lifts Literacy With Read2Soar Bonni Boschee, during a visit at the home of her grown son in Ohio, overheard him talking with a colleague. At the time, he was taking instructions to become a pilot. “They would speak this language about how they wrote a flight plan, and what they had to do to get ready to fly, and I thought how that all really pertains to education, and what we’re trying to do for kids – to teach kids how to fly,” she said. Thus, the name Read2Soar was coined by Boschee, a University of South Dakota graduate, for the reading improvement program she has developed. “When I introduce the program to a child, I’ll show them a photo of an airplane,” she said, “and explain to them that they are the pilot.” Boschee tells them she’ll help by working like a wing of the plane, and their parents will do the same. “But I tell them how they have to make decisions every day,” she said. “You have to make a decision to do what the flight plan says.” Boschee said she serves as a coach, not a tutor, to the students being helped by Read2Soar. “I tell them that they have a flight plan, not a lesson plan, because they’re driving the plane and we’re going to fly,” she said. “Once they get to third and fourth grade and that plane starts to take off, it’s a beautiful thing.” She compared it to flying in real life. Riding in a plane during take off may be a bit bumpy and uncomfortable, but once the aircraft leaves the ground, you kind of settle in. “That’s what happens with reading,” she said. Boschee has worked as a teacher for over 16 years, and her experience in school administration includes serving as superintendent of a Christian school in Volga. “I had a student in Volga … who was a sixth grader reading at a first grade level,” she said. “Prior to me getting there, they were sending her to first grade. So she was furious, she was embarrassed.” Boschee met with the student and her parents to make sure her reading skills were properly assessed. “She didn’t trust educators, she didn’t trust teachers,” she said. “So we just started working, and she moved two to three grade levels within the first three weeks of the (Read2Soar) program. Her mom called me when she got to the fourth grade reading level and said, ‘She won’t go to sleep. She’s been reading all night. What should I do?’” Boschee told the woman to let her daughter continue to read. “I will excuse her for the next two days. Just let her read,” she said. “She’s making up for five years. “When that plane takes off, they just can’t stop. Read2Soar really is designed to teach children how to fly independently,” she said. ln 2009, Boschee finished her post-doctoral work in literacy. “For two years I really studied research-based reading programs and that was a spin-off of my doctoral program which was in curriculum and instruction at the University of South Dakota,” she said. Boschee said she was intrigued by the lack of attention to literacy in South Dakota at a time when at least one-third of the state’s students are struggling readers. “If you look at every school district, it’s closer to 40 percent of our students that are one grade level to two grade levels below where they are supposed to be,” she said. Boschee also talks of the Matthew Effects and how it describes local students’ reading progress. In education the term “Matthew Effects” has been adopted by Keith Stanovich, a psychologist who has done extensive research on reading and language disabilities. Stanovich used the term to describe a phenomenon that has been observed in research on how new readers acquire the skills to read: The Boys Of Summer Are Back!! Have you fired up your air conditioner this season? Let our expertise take care of your cooling needs BEFORE the summer heat arrives. 605.665.2895 808 W. 23rd, Yankton, SD www.kaiserheatingandcooling.com 20vHERVOICEvMAY/JUNE 2017



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