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Arcola Students Win National Reading Competition

Categories: In the News

A student reading Learning Ally audiobooks at Arcola Elementary. The top public school in Learning Ally's Great Reading Games, Arcola Elementary, was visited by NewsChannel abc15 to take a closer look at how they're helping their students with learning differences succeed. ARCOLA---An honor to be very proud of, Arcola Elementary School earns first place for public schools in a national reading contest. Today students had a pizza party to celebrate. Rachel Stenger, Special Education Teacher said "it was so exciting to be a rural small school and perform so outstanding". Inside Ms. Stenger's classroom are a group of 4-6th graders who absolutely love reading. In-fact, over a 6-week-period, Arcola Elementary students read more than 15,000 pages combined. Gimena Mora, a 6th grade student said "I didn't like reading until they got Learning Ally working, I like it more." The competition was sponsored by Learning Ally. They provide audiobooks for students with learning disabilities. Students who read the most pages, won. “Those disabilities infect their reading. I mean, my kids who have ADHD, and with dyslexia words get mixed up and things like that,” Stenger says. The teacher says paperbacks can sometimes be intimidating for students with disabilities, but audio books allow them to get through hundreds of pages before they even know it. Stenger said the IPADS make reading interactive but it's the student’s interest that drives the program. Daniel Upton, a 6th grader said “I’m getting more fluid and I'm getting better at reading." Students picked their own audio books, typically centered around topics they enjoy most.  Gimena says audio books give her the extra help she needs. "It helps me learn new words that I didn’t know and it helps everyone else on their IPADS and not just using them for games," Mora said. The students reading success has many benefits, including this platform to share their great news and continue on a great path. "Since I'm on the news, my parents are gonna watch this most likely…." Upton said, For being the number one public school in the country, Arcola students got a pizza party, new headphones, I-Tunes gift cards and other items. Congratulations to them all! Learning Ally provides more than 80,000 audiobooks including textbooks and popular fiction to students with a wide range of learning disabilities. Nate Rodgers, reports.  

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