A pilot program to identify and help at-risk students at the second-grade level "has been so successful, it should serve as a model for the state and the nation," said Logan School Superintendent Gary Carlston.
He told the school board last week that the district started the program at Adams Elementary last year, and, after learning of the positive results, the state awarded a $20,000 to implement it at all five elementary schools this year.Richard Jensen, district curriculum director and the writer of the grant proposal, said that although at-risk programs have worked well on the secondary level, he has long felt the need for earlier intervention.
"If we can reverse behavior at an early age, the social and other problems will be minimized," he said.
From 11 to 15 students at each school meet twice weekly after school. In addition to remedial help in academic areas and training in social skills, the students get some alcohol and drug education.
"The program includes home visits with parents twice a month to encourage their involvement and there will be a six-week summer session," Jensen said.
Stephanie Sterling, a teacher-coordinator at Adams, said children read to each other as part of the program.
"I have seen students who were withdrawn and shy totally blossom because of this program," she said.
"Our trackers also have learned that in almost every case, learning has improved in every subject area," she said.
Jensen said six other districts have requested information about the program.