YMCA Reads!


The READS! program is implemented by trained mentors under a full-time READS! site-coordinator’s supervision. The Site Coordinator assess students’ knowledge to place them in the program and establish appropriate instructional groups. Instruction is developmentally appropriate for each group.

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  • Consistent Daily Routines In much of the instruction, mentors use routines consisting of verbal prompts and hand movements. Because these highly interactive routines are used throughout the program, they provide students with familiar structures in which to learn.
  • Choral Responding Group choral practice and response keeps students engaged and enables the Site Coordinator to evaluate progress.
  • Immediate Strategic Feedback When students make mistakes, the teacher uses prompts to help them arrive at the correct response themselves. There is an emphasis on understanding rather than rote memorization.
  • Ongoing Assessments Short tests for phonics and sight words are embedded in the lessons to help the Site Coordinator determine lesson pace and delivery. The daily reading periods provide additional assessment opportunities.
  • Independent Daily Reading Students develop fluency by reading 10–30 minutes a day, initially using controlled program readers, and ultimately reading trade books.
  1. SIPPS (Systematic Instruction in Phonological Awareness, Phonics, and Sight Words). For younger students, the program provides the kind of structure and systemic lessons that beginning readers need. For older students, the SIPPS program uses age-appropriate reading materials that help them acquire the skills they must have to read grade-level texts and understand content-level vocabulary.