Advanced reading program aims to increase proficiency

22News reporter Sy Becker speaks to school students at the Anna E. Barry Elementary School in Chicopee.

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A new report found that only 38% of American school children are proficient in reading. The numbers are slightly better here in Massachusetts, but in Chicopee, the school department is making a special effort to raise that proficiency level to 100%.

22News visited the Anna Barry Elementary School in Chicopee Thursday morning, where Principal Anna DeJesus said that they have an advanced reading program, in which an hour and a half of each school day is devoted to reading skills.

The program exists in schools district-wide.

DeJesus told 22News that they want their students to be fluent in reading. Students are encouraged to read what they enjoy, and to understand what they are reading.

The Nation’s Report Card study found that 43% of Massachusetts students were proficient in reading or had advanced skills, while 50% of Connecticut students were proficient or advanced in their reading skills.

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