Letters from Educators - Reading And Rhythm

Betty Coleman, Principal, Westminster Avenue Elementary School

April 27, 2004

Mr. John Liechty, Associate Superintendent
Beyond the Bell Branch

Dear Mr. Liechty,

I am writing this letter to ask you to please consider implementing the "Reading in Rhythm" program developed and implemented by the Drumming for Your Life Institute in the after school programs, LA"s Best and/or Youth Services.

Our school contains students with a large range of talents, abilities and disabilities. Over a period of years we have worked to meet this wide range through the development and implementation of effective programs to provide services to every student. One of our targets this year has been on Third Grade Fluency.

One effective program is "Reading in Rhythm" program under the direction of Steven Angel. The program is designed to increase fluency rates of third grade students who are not meeting grade level standards. The success rates are outstanding. Mr. Angel always starts with data and ends with data that shows how effective his program is. Fluency rates INCREASED for the students in the program from 52 to 68 percent as measured by Open Court unit scores. Teachers have also noticed a rise in the students" motivation to continue to improve their reading as well as other curriculum areas.

We have also seen dramatic results in building community within the classroom from another rhythm program that Steven brought to us two years ago. We witnessed dramatic changes in some of our very challenging students who became more focused on their learning and behavior than ever before after working with their teacher Evelyn Soo and Steven Angel.

I highly recommend that this program become an institute in the after school programs. I certainly would like to see it expanded at my school and others. It works!


Betty Coleman
Principal of Westminster Avenue Elementary School