Search form

Reading First

Reading First is not a specific reading program. Rather, it is a federal grant program designed to promote the use of research-based reading instruction. Grant funds are awarded to help states and local school districts establish high-quality, comprehensive reading instruction for all children in kindergarten through third grade.

Reading First establishes clear, specific expectations for what can and should be taught to every single student in a classroom. Reading First requires that scientifically based reading research drives teachers' classroom instructional decisions.

Grants are available for state and local programs in which students are systematically and explicitly taught five key early reading skills. Those skills are

  • phonemic awareness -- the ability to hear, identify, and play with individual sounds (or phonemes) in spoken words.
  • phonics -- the relationship between the letters of written language and the sounds of spoken language.
  • fluency -- the capacity to read text accurately and quickly.
  • vocabulary -- the words students must know to communicate effectively.
  • comprehension -- students' ability to understand and gain meaning from what they read.



Article by Ellen R. Delisio
Education World®
Copyright © 2005 Education World