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I once heard Connie Juel, a prominent researcher in early reading, describe an interview with a struggling fourth-grade student. Connie had spent four years following a group of students who, in first grade, had been identified as at risk. She was wrapping up her longitudinal study, asking them how they felt about reading. “Reading?” one boy said. “I hate it. I’d rather clean a bathtub.”

Did you know that one third of 4th graders and more than one-quarter of 8th graders read below the basic level? For kids who struggle early on in reading (like those we focus on here at Reading Rockets), there is often a long, hard road ahead. The demands of school increase, yet reading and writing skills often can’t keep up. Grades and motivation often drop, leaving students, parents, and teachers feeling at a loss for what to do.

Our newest project and friend to reading, (opens in a new window), can help. Just launched yesterday, fills a void by becoming the absolute “go-to” site for parents and teachers of kids in grades 4-12. contains research-based articles and reports (opens in a new window)
videos of teachers and classrooms, a strategy library (opens in a new window) with downloadable PDFs, podcasts, webcasts, and an Ask the Expert (opens in a new window) area where you can write in to ask about a challenge you’re facing. And that is just what is available now at launch. More is coming.

I encourage you to poke around the site, subscribe to the newsletter, and get to know this new friend to reading.

About the Author

Along with her background as a professor, researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.

Publication Date
November 7, 2007