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Idaho Reading First

About Idaho Reading First

Reading First Idaho logo

The Reading First project began in Idaho in the 2003-2004 school year. Since that time, there were five cohorts of schools and districts which came on board. The Idaho Reading First model for instruction was used to help promote school improvement efforts throughout the state of Idaho in order that students may reach our common goal of being proficient readers by the end of Third Grade. Through the use of Scientifically Based Research in Reading and curricular materials that are proven to support Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary, and Comprehension, this project’s mission was to better equip local teachers and school leaders to serve some of Idaho’s most at-risk children.

While Reading First officially worked with 32 schools as of 2009-2010, many participating districts zealously moved toward implementing the model in other school sites as well as using its successful school improvement components as a means to promote achievement in upper grades, middle schools, and high schools. The Reading First state team was very proud to know that, together with our schools, our work positively impacted the academic achievement of thousands of Idaho’s children in Reading First schools as well as countless other students throughout the state whose leaders collaborated with us and our participating schools.


Legislative Introduction

Reading First, Title I B under the No Child Left Behind Act, is a national initiative designed to support states in making every child a proficient reader (reading at or above grade level) by the end of third grade. It is the largest early reading initiative in history. The focus of Reading First is on classroom learning in schools identified as having high-needs and high expectations for student achievement. The themes of the Reading First model identify leadership, professional development for all K-3 educators, implementation of research based curricular materials, ongoing progress monitoring and immediate intensive intervention for students academically at risk for reading achievement, as the crucial elements for student success. An additional component of the Reading First model is having an on-site reading coach. The reading coach serves as a resource for teachers to assist them in the implementation of scientifically based programs, data analysis, intervention needs, and differentiating instruction for their students.