President Haynes, CSUSM president, will announce that elementary student test scores in reading improved an astonishing 87 points as a result of DREAM’s initiatives. The program’s goal was to train 3rd and 4th grade teachers to use visual arts and theater activities to improve students’ reading and language arts skills. Begun in June 2009, the program offered one week Summer Institutes coupled with coaching by professional artists throughout the year. Ten school districts have had teachers participate in the project, including Carlsbad, Encinitas, Escondido, Fallbrook, Julian, Oceanside, Ramona, San Marcos, Valley Center Pauma and Vista, representing 141 teachers and approximately 3,000 students.
During the press conference, elementary students from the Vista Academy of Visual and Performing Arts will perform one of the theatrical lesson plans to demonstrate how using theater to teach literacy is an effective instructional tool. Students in classes where teachers integrated theater to teach reading scored much higher on the reading comprehension and inference standardized tests.
The press conference will be held at the North County Regional Education Center at 255 Pico Avenue, San Marcos. It will be streamed at http://webcast.sdcoe.net/dream020912.This link will not be active until approximately 9 a.m. on Feb. 9.