By Hannah Butler
The Boys and Girls Club of the Arkansas River Valley (BGCARV) introduced the King-Devick Reading Acceleration Program (KD-RAP) on Tuesday to its Russellville branch in order to encourage reading.
The free training program is web-based in order to teach children to learn how to move their eyes efficiently during reading.
"Research has shown that children in grades one through four who practice with K-D RAP significantly improve reading performance in as little as six weeks," said Dr. Megan Selman, executive director of the BGCARV.
"When younger children are learning how to read, they have imprecise eye movements - in which eyes must reread text - resulting in slower performance and reading rates," according to the King-Devick website. "Eye movements are learned motor skills that, like other complex motor skills, take practice and develop with age."
It focuses on improving the way children will read, as well as speed and accuracy.
"It's the physical aspect of reading," said facilitator Kristi Lamoureux. "Instead of just learning the words and knowing it, you also have to have the physical aspect with your eyes."
Eighty-five tablets and laptops are provided for participants of the reading program. The BGCARV received a $50,000 grant from the Department of Education towards this program.
KD-RAP will be available to children enrolled at the Russellville Boys and Girls Club until August and members during the summer program. Members will be able to participate in the program Monday through Friday from noon-2 p.m.
"We are hopeful that introducing a new, reading-based program like K-D RAP during our summer and after-school programs will positively impact the academic success of our young members," Selman said. "We would love to see this program expand and open the door for future grant opportunities benefitting children at the Boys and Girls Club of the Arkansas River Valley."
"No matter how much they know the words, or no matter how much they're learning in school, they're not at the speed to be able to read it across," said Lamoureux.