AIM Works - Literacy Data Shows Student Improvement

As the Philadelphia area’s only reading research organization connected to a school for children with learning differences, we wanted to confirm what we’ve always believed: AIM Academy students were improving their reading through our Integrated Literacy Model of instruction. This unique model addresses the foundational skills for reading and writing such as word recognition, spelling and hand-writing and also develops the language processes and skills necessary for comprehension and written expression in all areas through unique programs like Interactive Humanities.

Last year, Dr. Grace Ashton, AIM’s Assistant Head of School, gathered all of the historical reading accuracy and fluency data for AIM 2nd through 5th grade students and provided them to Dr. Lee Branum Martin of Georgia State University for review.

Graph of 3rd Grade AIM Accuracy Improvement

After close analysis, we were thrilled to know that the majority of our students are exceeding national fluency norms for average rate of improvement. Not just compared to their peers with learning differences, because there are no national fluency norms for children who learn differently, but for ALL children.

“AIM students are performing and reading at a level that exceeds the national expectation and that is very impressive,” said Dr. Julie Washington of Georgia State University, who recently shared her research on reading and African-American students at AIM’s Research to Practice Symposium in March. “What’s more impressive to me as someone who is interested in kids who are impoverished, is that AIM is able to accelerate reading growth which is something that we’re not actually able to do in traditional schools and I don’t think it’s class size. I think it’s something about the program at AIM and how integrated it is and how intentional [it is] that results in that kind of acceleration and it’s really what we need to be able to do for kids growing up in poverty and for minority kids who come to school behind.”

If research shows that 95% of children can be taught to read on grade level, we believe it is even more important to get this training and knowledge into the hands of all teachers. It is a moral imperative.

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