EL MONTE – El Monte City School District’s key reading programs are boosting English language arts (ELA) test scores, as well as helping to narrow achievement gaps and nurturing a love of literacy in students.
Durfee and LeGore schools have shown especially strong improvements in scores on state standardized tests over the last four years – with Durfee increasing 20 percentage points and LeGore increasing 10 percentage points, according to California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CASCPP) data.
At Durfee School, students are devouring books and reading for fun thanks to a Millionaires Club that encourages students to read at least 1 million words during the school year.
“Our school’s Millionaires Club seamlessly strengthens the motivating factors for all student achievement,” Durfee School Principal Gerardo Yepez said. “Together, we celebrate our students’ love of reading. This program has permeated the campus with such intensity, becoming a vital part of Durfee’s culture.”
Yepez said the Millionaires Club, founded in 2015, has become popular because it allows students to choose topics based on their own interests and reading levels. This motivation to read has reflected on overall ELA test score improvement and academic achievement.
“I’m really proud to be in the Millionaires Club at Durfee,” Durfee eighth-grader Jasmine Le said. “I used to only read fiction now, because of the school’s reading program, but now I’m looking at more genres and I read faster.”
LeGore School’s Read to Lead program, founded in 2015, started as a challenge for students to earn weekly points for reading books and passing Accelerated Reader (AR) tests. Over the last four years, LeGore students have boosted literacy skills with a simple mantra: “The more you read, the more you know. The more you know, the more you will want to learn.”
LeGore Principal Adriana Garcia said the initiative has strengthened the campus culture, with students now reading during lunch and recess for pleasure instead of just curriculum. Garcia also said she’s noticed improvements in her students’ vocabulary and comprehension skills.
“I think the biggest gain since we started Read to Lead is that students are excited about reading,” Garcia said. “Their conversations revolve on how many books they read, who their favorite author is, what their word count is or how they learned something from reading a book.”
EMCSD_READING1: Durfee School students are devouring books and counting words in order to earn a spot in their schools Millionaires Club, which encourages students to read more than a million words during the school year. The Millionaires Club is just one of the key reading programs in El Monte City School District that has shown to boost state test scores.
EMCSD_READING2: LeGore School students are getting excited about literacy thanks to the school’s Lead to Read program, which encourages academic and personal growth through the mantra “The more you read, the more you know. The more you know, the more you will want to learn.”