March 01, 2019

Reading Horizons Review: Dixie Lee Tripp

Tags: Correctional Education, ESL Instruction

The results are beyond our greatest hopes.

For the students, the results have been an average of 3-4 grade levels in reading skills. This is discounting our Learning Disabled students. Although, have to tell you a delightful story about one of them. I spoke with his mother yesterday and she said he left a note on the counter telling them he had walked the dogs. They never dreamed he was capable of doing it and they intend to frame the note.  She couldn’t have been more excited.

For students without learning disabilities, we have had wonderful success stories. One student who had never had any other jobs except, as she put it, “hash-slinging,” got her first job checking orders for a telemarketing company. She is now working in the records department at one of our major hospitals.

Students at the Omaha Correctional Center are leaving the program as students and returning as tutors. Several have now left the prison and have contacted other literacy programs to ask to become tutors and teachers for them.

One of the most exciting things about the prisoners is that their attitudes change. They have become much less aggressive and help those who have problems. It has been a great turn-around.

Those students who attend under our English as a Second Language programs come through the program with flying colors. We ask that they attend a 095 level English class prior to phonics. After that they come to us and progress extremely well. What they have learned in ESL begins to make sense to them through the phonics.

I sell the program at every opportunity. Last week after breakfast in Norfolk, Nebraska, where I was to do a training seminar, the waitress, while checking me out, said, “Have a good day.” I said it would be busy, as I would be doing the five-hour seminar. By the time the conversation was over, I had her name and address and passed it on to one of the tutors I was training. 

She was concerned about her 3rd grader. I found her a tutor to help. I think the tutors were a little amazed that I did what I did. I told them, “Never stop looking for someone to help.”

All of my teachers at Metro love the no-nonsense approach. They love the fact that the program is presented as building blocks. They see specific improvements with their students because students can easily grasp the information. The teachers and their students are constantly encouraged by results.

I have every intention of continuing to use this program whether I am still at Metro or not.

So as a brief summary, all I can say is, “IT WORKS!!!”

Grade Level: Adult Ed, Elementary