“I have been a teacher for over fifteen years and my bilingual students often struggle with reading in English and commonly confuse the English and Spanish vowels, making it difficult for them to progress in reading. Two summers ago I had the opportunity to take a Reading Quest teacher workshop and observe the a Reading is Magic Summer Camp. I was so amazed! The tutors in the camp built confidence in struggling readers with games and activities that cultivated a sense of individual affirmation and community. Explicit instruction of the vowels and phonics taught through games was of utmost importance. I was so eager to start the year and implement the strategies I had learned with my Dual Language first graders. We started by building community and creating a place where students felt safe to make mistakes. I incorporated the Reading Quest methods, focusing on the vowels and using catchy songs and games to teach reading.
Within two months my students made remarkable gains. I started the year with 70% of my class well below proficiency in Istation. By October many of my students had jumped 10 points or more and continued to make incredible growth throughout the year.
In addition, wonderful Reading Quest tutors worked with three of my students and provided valuable one-one support. I have participated in many professional development workshops in my career, and none has inspired me and influenced as much growth in my bilingual students as Reading Quest.
Bilingual 1st Grade Teacher
Reading Quest has been a huge support for me this year during remote learning. I took two workshops and learned so many fun, engaging activities that I can use with my class every day. The workshops also helped me learn new strategies to use with struggling readers. Several students in my class receive weekly tutoring from Reading Quest. I have truly been amazed by how much this has helped improve their confidence. One student made a gigantic leap in his Istation score in reading. It went from 209 (Level 1) all the way to 238 (Level 4) in the middle of the year. Most importantly, this student has become truly passionate about reading. He inspires others by sharing what he has learned from his tutor. Reading Quest is such a valuable resource for students, teachers, and families in Santa Fe. I am grateful for all they have done to help support our community, especially during the pandemic.
--Sarah Komalam, 2nd Grade Teacher at Acequia Madre Elementary
Two of my students participated in ‘Reading is Magic’ summer camp. The improvement in their skill level and self-confidence is measurable. Any parent or teacher of a child challenged by reading should explore this wonderful opportunity. The ‘Reading is Magic’ program can make a difference in a child's life.
As a teacher, I have spent many nights crying, wanting my daughter to be able to read, and to love it. For the last 3 years, I kept receiving ‘struggling reader’ letters and watched her feel defeated because she was always in the red (at risk of repeating the grade). I tried to make it seem like it was no big deal and encouraged her to just keep working hard. But I knew it still hurt. It hurt her heart and it hurt mine too. I am writing to say that for the first time in all of her school years, my daughter is finally out of red level! I have tears about the progress she has made with you and Reading Quest.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
-Kristen Lewis, Reading Quest Parent & SFPS Reading Specialist
Reading Quest has helped my daughter blossom. Before she attended the Reading Is Magic summer camp, my daughter struggled with basic words and letter sounds and was often reluctant to read. But by the end of the two week camp, her enthusiasm was on fire. The camp gave her basic phonics, and she began reading simple, short stories. Now, after six months of Reading Quest help from Molly and Rayna and the other amazing teen tutors, my daughter has started to read chapter books on her own. She has shot up several grade levels in reading proficiency. Reading Quest has given her affirmation, confidence, and loads of fun!
My name is Dolores Montano-Pena, the Principal of Sweeney Elementary. I have worked with Reading Quest staff and Rayna Dineen for two years. Ms. Dineen and her staff have helped our students to read. Reading Quest currently occupies two classrooms at Sweeney that are filled with students that want and need to learn to read. Students look forward to their time in Reading Quest.
I have witnessed students with low self-esteem due to their reading levels become filled with excitement while reading to peers and family members. Ms. Dineen's program has helped so many of our students.
On a personal level, my two grandchildren attend Reading Quest. One of my grandchildren started Reading Quest at Kindergarten level in reading while in the 4th grade. I have seen his reading level improve along with his confidence, he now holds his head high after reading passages. My granddaughter waited for her brother at Reading Quest while her brother received his tutoring. She would look forward to going to Reading Quest with her brother, stating that, "they do so many fun things while reading" and asked if she could participate. She is currently receiving tutoring from Reading Quest and loves it. Needless to say I have the utmost confidence in Reading Quest.
Reading Quest is a positive reading program in which the tutors are kind, patient, focused on each child and filled with pedagogy that assists students in learning to read. I have yet to meet a child who attends Reading Quest that does not want to attend.
My son Zayden has always loved school. When he went to first grade he started to fall behind. He started to compare himself to his class mates and eventually started to hate reading. His first grade teacher stated that he needed summer school. He went every day and still, he was behind.
It wasn't until he entered second grade that he had a great teacher who started to work with him. I wanted to get him more help. So I searched the internet and found Reading Quest. I read the testimonials from several parents and knew my son needed this program. I emailed Rayna immediately and she got him in that Wednesday. He had an assessment and was ready to start!
My son absolutely loves Reading Quest. Within a month I saw so much improvement. He started to read again for fun. Every week he looked forward to his sessions with his tutor. His teacher was amazed with his progress and started to refer her other student to this program.
When this pandemic hit our states I was worried that he would fall behind again. But Reading Quest made an effort to have online sessions with my son. This program has been a blessing! My son has found joy in reading again and is now above his grade level in reading. My younger son constantly asks when he can start Reading Quest.
I'm am beyond grateful to Rayna and her staff for the amazing work they do. Our state needs programs like this to insure kids can get the help that they need!
Thank you so much Reading Quest
I work with students who have challenging behaviors, in a separate setting school. The majority of the students come to me with undiagnosed characteristics of dyslexia and reading difficulties.
In addition to our reading intervention program, I use Reading Quest's explicit, systematic and strategic approach to teach vowel teams, word families, and letter to sound correspondence. These techniques, when combined with our district mandated reading program, have facilitated greater gains in reading, especially for my English learners and students who have characteristics of dyslexia.
SInce we have moved into distance learning, I have struggled with ways to engage and motivate my students.
Reading Quest has fun, engaging and motivating activities such as treasure hunts, "I spy" activities, and syllable making games that engage my students and make reading fun. My students and I have greatly benefited from their workshops.
SFPS Teacher- Zia School
After the two weeks of Reading is Magic Camp my son's reading has clearly improved. I was amazed when after a few days he came home and suddenly understood how to read the long vowel sounds. He is trying to decode words more now instead of just guessing. The camp also gave me as a parent some tools of how to help him in that process. I want to thank the teachers and volunteers from the bottom of my heart for their dedication in not only making learning fun but also for creating a wonderful, supportive group spirit between the kids.
It was a pleasure to visit. I was so excited to see my ELL student, a struggling reader, jumping confidently into a word game! She did not hesitate to tackle long, difficult words that previously would have intimidated her. The students are engaged and genuinely enjoy reading practice and games at Reading is Magic Camp: this is true magic!
Reading Quest has helped struggling readers at Kearny to develop fluency, phonemic awareness, solid comprehension skills, and confidence in reading. Students enjoy and look forward to fun, engaging, and rigorous literacy sessions with committed tutors.
14 of my students participate in Galaxy Club and Reading Quest tutoring.