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Hernando teacher defends, explains national reading program

Editor: Re: Reading program starts with errors in grammar, Sept. 6 letter to the editor:

I would like to respond to the letter written by Natalie Lauze regarding the material pictured in the Sept. 4 Hernando Times news article, Troubled readers get help.

The text pictured is a page from a nationally recognized program that teaches children to read using specific direct instruction strategies and curriculum-based evaluation techniques.

The special print seen in the photo reflects altered orthography. Orthography refers to the letters that make up words, or how they are spelled. In this program, the special print used at the beginning stages of reading instruction provides a reminder that allows the student to focus on learning the sounds that letters make. Later, standard print is used. At that time, students are better able to decode irregularly spelled words, a skill successful readers possess.

The primary focus of this "reading" program at the level of the text pictured is on teaching decoding. Decoding is the ability to read the printed word. Grammar and correct sentence structure are taught outside the reading class. If these questions are raised by students, they are used as teachable moments and discussed.

I applaud the district for its efforts to address the needs of this population of children. They have created an initiative designed to help these students overcome a major obstacle to learning _ the inability to read and comprehend effectively.

I am proud to be among the teachers in this county, which include our reading specialists, who have been given the opportunity to use these strategies as a balanced part of daily reading instruction. After all, isn't our goal to help all children become successful, independent readers and learners?

Eileen Walls, teacher, Exceptional Student Education

Get rid of one-way roads

Editor: Who killed Brooksville?

We never needed this wall and we do not need it now! They are now four-laning the truck bypass going around Brooksville. The real estate is mostly sold, the roads are almost all widened, and a simple sign stating "Heavy duty trucks not allowed" on Broad Street and Jefferson Street through the city of Brooksville would solve the problem.

It's my belief that most every resident and business owner in the city limits would vote to reverse the one-way pairing that is turning this into a ghost town. The state Department of Transportation may have listened to our protests, but didn't hear a word we had to say.

We know who runs the DOT and it's not the people of this state who pay the taxes for these new roads.

Traffic should be able to move both north and south on Jefferson Street and Broad through Brooksville. Save our town and take down this wall.

Eldon Gossage, Apollo Beach

Share your views

The Hernando Times welcomes letters from readers for publication.

Because of space limitations, letters should be of reasonable length.

Letters may be edited for clarity, taste and length.

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Send your letter to Hernando Times, 161 E Jefferson St., Brooksville, FL 34601.

Send letters by electronic mail (in text only format) to hernandosptimes.com

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