Murrieta Fifth Grader Wins National Reading Award

From left: Robert Boodman, 9-year-old Rachel Boodman, Maria Boodman, 11-year-old Brianna Boodman, teacher Christine Schroeder, principal...

From left: Robert Boodman, 9-year-old Rachel Boodman, Maria Boodman, 11-year-old Brianna Boodman, teacher Christine Schroeder, principal Mike Marble.
Murrieta 24/7 photo: Kristen Spoon

When she was in third grade at Cole Canyon Elementary School in Murrieta, Brianna Boodman was a quiet student who didn't particularly like school -- and she definitely didn't like to read.

"She just wanted to read first grade books with one or two sentences," recalled her mother, Maria.

Now, thanks to national intervention programs System 44 and Read 180 and her own persistence, Brianna has improved her reading scores -- and her self-confidence -- tremendously. So much so, in fact, that the fifth grader's improvement was recognized Wednesday with a national award.

During a ceremony in front of family, friends and teachers, Brianna received a National Read 180 Student Award. The award, sponsored by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt educational programs of New York, was presented to only 15 students in the entire nation this year.

Brianna, age 11, is one of them. In a ceremony including a Hougthon Mifflin Harcourt representative, fifth grade teacher Christine Schroeder and District Superintendent Pat Kelley (left with Brianna), the student received a $1,000 prize to be used toward her education. Schroeder will receive $1,000 worth of educational materials for her classroom.

According to Schroeder, Brianna's Lexile reading score was 70 when she started the program. Now it's over 900. She is reading at grade level and has developed confidence in herself she didn't have before.

"They call it Read 180, but I'd say this was a 360," said Schroeder, who nominated Brianna for the award after seeing her progress. "In fourth grade she was in System 44, a phonic based program. We pushed her to get out of that because I knew she could do this -- and she did.

"This is a reading intervention program for students to improve their reading comprehension. It includes software, independent reading and small group instruction. The students in this class are those who need it the most and can make the most growth.

"Brianna succeeded at this because of her attitude and the support of her family. She was willing to put in the extra work. She was here by 7:15 in the morning for an hour and a half before school. She stayed an hour and a half after school."

Brianna has a simple explanation of how the program works.

"We go on the computer and we pick a book," she said. "We do paperwork, go to the teacher's table and work in our handbooks. I just read a book called 'Dangerous Sea Creatures', and I had to answer questions about it. It's fun.

"I wanted to improve my reading. I felt like I was behind everybody else. I feel like I can do more things now. I like to read now."


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