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Fifth Grade Student Goes From Struggle to Success Through Read 180

At a glance

Jaleah recently completed the fifth grade at Dowell Elementary School in Cobb County, GA. Her favorite subjects in school are math, reading, and science, and she has dreams of becoming a doctor who delivers babies when she grows up.

Although Jaleah likes to read now—she enjoys reading horror and mystery books in particular—reading hasn’t always been easy for her. Jaleah recalls a time when reading was very hard. “When I did read something, I would always forget what I was reading. I couldn’t understand the questions.” Doing homework independently was a challenge.

For the past two years, Jaleah has been using the Read 180® program to help accelerate her reading.

Reading achievements during two years of using Read 180:

  • Moved from a Below Basic performance level at the start of fourth grade to nearing the Proficient level at the end of fifth grade
  • Achieved a 77% increase in Reading Inventory® Lexile® scores, growing from 415L at the start of fourth grade to 736L at the end of fifth grade

In her first year using Read 180 as a fourth grader during the 2020–2021 school year, Jaleah attended school remotely for the most part. Her software usage data shows that she worked hard through the Read 180 program, completing 9 segments that year. She steadily made gains in Reading Inventory Lexile scores, growing from 415L at the start of fourth grade to 533L at the end of the year. Jaleah’s gain of 118L in a single year represents a 28% increase.

In her second year using Read 180 as a fifth grader during the 2021–2022 school year, Jaleah benefited from the return to in-person learning and from continuing to use the Read 180 program. She continued to work hard through her software, completing 10 segments in a single year. She continued to make gains in Reading Inventory Lexile scores and in performance levels, growing 126L from a 610L (Below Basic) at the beginning of fifth grade to 667L (Basic) mid-year and finishing fifth grade at 736L (Basic, nearing Proficient).

Jaleah is thrilled about the resulting gains from her hard work with Read 180: “It makes me feel better about myself. I can read by myself.” She also became one of the two “assistant teachers” in her Read 180 class, helping new students read through the passages and guiding them through completing the writing activities when the Read 180 teacher was conducting small-group instruction with other students.

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“Read 180 saved me.”

Jaleah has improved not only in her reading, but her other subjects have improved as a result as well. Jaleah reports that Read 180 has helped in her other subjects and classes such as in math, saying, “I’m better at understanding the math questions I’m being asked.”

Jaleah has made tremendous progress in reading with the support of her family and teachers, and she is looking forward to starting middle school in the fall. “It's made me feel more confident about going into sixth grade.”

Jaleah’s teacher, Mrs. Brackett, noticed the drastic change in Jaleah’s confidence and reading ability. “She was shy at first and struggled with reading.” But through the years, they developed a trusting relationship with one another, where Jaleah began asking more questions, worked towards a goal, and was motivated to succeed.

Jaleah’s progress with Read 180 has been life-changing for her as she shared that “Read 180 saved me.”

Mrs. Brackett proudly affirms that, “Jaleah is now comprehending what she reads, not just reading words off of a page in a book. This has turned her path to loving books instead of avoiding them. Jaleah wants to do well in middle school and even check out books from the local library near her home this summer. She realizes that reading different genres of books will open doors to a lifetime of learning. I know that through reading books and participating in the Read 180 program, Jaleah is definitely on her way to becoming a lifetime learner!”

When asked if she has advice for other students who are struggling with reading, Jaleah says, “If I can give others some advice, it would be don't give up. And if I could do it, you could also do it.”