Benton elementary students succeeding through literacy program 


BENTON, Ark. – Last week the State announced a multi-million dollar federal grant for literacy in Arkansas. Part of the money will go to a new way of teaching students how to read in Arkansas.

The “Reading Initiative for Student Excellence” or RISE program started in January 2017. 

The Benton School District’s elementary schools have benefited from the program. They say they have seen their own tests score rise through RISE.

At Howard Perrin elementary, Carrie Donnell is molding young minds through RISE. 

“The teachers are actually getting the resources we need and the training that we need to really be able to diagnosis where those reading deficiencies are,” Carrie said. 

Carrie has seen students bloom and understand reading though this new way of teaching.

“That gives them strategy to attack a work,” she said. 

Across town at Angie Grant Elementary, the school has won an award for how well students are doing in the RISE program.

“They have seen the progress in our school especially,” 1st grade teacher Lizzie Estes said. 

Estes says she hopes the $38 million grant the US Department of Education awarded Arkansas will help more kids through the program.

“I can only imagine where we’re going to go from here and just the ability we’re going to have as we come across more training,” said Estes. 

What seems like a fun class lesson, is leaving a lasting impression for Benton students.

The school district also holds adult literacy nights. Teachers explain the curriculum to parents so they can take it home and teach their kids even outside the classroom. 

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