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“Reading is the gateway skill that makes all other learning possible.” 
Barack Obama

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We know that there is no greater indicator of future academic success than being proficient in reading. In Thomasville, the vast majority of elementary aged students read below proficient levels.  Data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and Georgia Department of Education from 2020-2021 school years indicates that in our county school system only 32% of elementary students read at grade level proficiency and in our city school system that number is only 37%.  Both school systems rank behind the Georgia state average of 39%.


With this data in mind, and with a desire to assist our school systems in meeting the academic development goals of our Thomasville students, The Thomasville/Thomas County Sports Academy is launching The R.E.A.D. (Reading Elevates Academic Achievement) Initiative.  The R.E.A.D. Initiative aims to increase reading proficiency of struggling readers through partnerships with both the county and city school systems, as well as the Marguerite Neel Williams Boys and Girls Clubs of Southwest Georgia by using systematic, evidence based, intensive phonics-based reading interventions.

The goal of the R.E.A.D. Initiative is to implement a three-part, evidence-based intensive phonics-based reading intervention program for students who are reading below grade level expectations. For many years, the focus of most reading intervention programs has been increasing reading fluency and comprehension, however, more recent research indicates that students who do not have a firm grasp of phonics and phonemic awareness will struggle with accuracy in reading which leads to delays in fluency and reading comprehension.  Simply put, if a child cannot read accurately, they will not be able to read quickly or gain understanding of what they are reading.  By targeting phonics instruction as an intervention, we can increase a student’s phonemic awareness and orthographic knowledge to help achieve greater levels of accuracy and fluency in reading, opening the door to greater levels of reading comprehension. 


P.O. Box 2964
Thomasville, GA 31792




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