The Reading Intervention Center is a program of the School Psychology Graduate Program at CWU. If you have questions about the Center or the School Psychology Graduate program at CWU please contact Dr. Heath Marrs, Program Director.
What is the Reading Intervention Center?
The Reading Intervention Center provides assessment and intervention services for K-6 children who may be experiencing difficulties in reading and literacy development. The Center is a service of the graduate program in School Psychology at Central Washington University. Services are provided by graduate students under the supervision of school psychology faculty. All services are provided free of charge as a service to the community.
With the disruptions in learning as a result of the pandemic, many children may be experiencing difficulties in reading. Initial research on the impact of the pandemic has found that many students may have missed important learning experiences that may have impacted the development of foundational academic skills. A primary goal of the Reading Intervention Center is to provide families with assessment and tutoring support to help them address their child’s needs during the crucial elementary years. In addition, the Center seeks to serve children with various learning challenges who may have missed out on crucial learning experiences and or interventions during the pandemic.
A variety of diagnostic assessment services are available through the center. Brief assessments of current skill development in various areas of reading are typically given when a student begins with the Center. These brief assessments provide initial information about skill development in various areas of reading including phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension skills. In addition, screenings for other academic skills are also available (writing, mathematics). If learning disabilities such as Dyslexia are suspected, full psycho educational evaluations are also available to possibly rule out or identify learning disabilities as a factor in reading difficulties. Children who have been previously identified as having a learning disability or other disability as well as students without special needs are welcome to access services through the center.
Tutoring is also available through the center in order to provide targeted practice on needed reading skills. Tutoring is provided on a regular schedule by graduate students using evidence-based interventions for the particular needs of the student. Many students who are falling behind in reading benefit from additional, targeted practice opportunities on a regular basis to supplement their school learning. Tutors will work directly with students and also provide parents/caregivers with resources for providing additional practice opportunities at home.
Prior to beginning tutoring, a screening will be given to find student strengths and needs. If additional assessment is needed, more comprehensive evaluations (diagnostic assessments) are available. An individualized tutoring plan will be developed. For many students, the Sound Partners intervention will be appropriate. In a typical session, graduate student tutors will engage with your child in a fun activity and also work through reading lessons from the Sound Partners intervention, which is an evidence-based intervention for struggling readings. Tutors will work with students on phonological awareness (the sounds of language) tasks, blending and segmenting sounds, letter-sound matching, writing, and beginning reading.
Additional information about Sounds Partners and research evidence supporting effectiveness is available here:
Help with working on skills at home
Good learning happens when practice is spaced out over many short learning sessions rather than all at one time. Sound Partners has been carefully designed to provide children with practice opportunities for key skills spaced out over multiple days a week. If families would welcome practicing skills at home, assistance is available to set up a program to supplement the regular tutoring at the center. As a part of the program tutors will provide families with materials for short practice throughout the week. Tutors will also provide training and support. With the pandemic many children have missed out on important daily interactions with teachers that reinforce key skills; the Sound Partners intervention will help provide those interactions to help support learning.
Frequently Asked Questions?
Where is the Center Located?
During Fall Quarter 2021 (October-December), the Center is located in room 212 in the Samuelson building on the CWU campus. In January 2022 the Center will move to the Psychology Building on campus.
The Reading Intervention Center is located on the 2nd floor of the Psychology Building in room 217. The Psychology building is located on the corner of Dean Nicholson Blvd. and Walnut street directly across the street from Nicholson Pavilion and the CWU Football stadium.
When is the Center Open?
During the 21-22 Academic year the Center will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-7 pm. For students receiving tutoring services, a consistent time and day will be scheduled for tutoring. If a psycho educational evaluation is being conducted, then additional times during the week may be scheduled in order to conduct the evaluation.
Are there charges for the services?
No, services are offered for free as a service to the community.
How do I sign up for services?
Please contact Dr. Heath Marrs at HeathMarrs@cwu.edu Or 509-963-2391 to sign up or if you have questions.
Are you able to provide intervention for other skills such as math and writing?
Yes, although our primary emphasis is reading development, we are able to assess for skills in other academic areas and provide intervention services.
What should I bring to a first session?
Any information about your child’s academic skills and performance would be helpful for assessing your child’s current skills and needs for intervention. Any test results, report cards, teacher reports, or examples of school work they have completed would be helpful.