CSUSM Sets Press Conference for Feb. 9

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Margaret Lutz | mlutz@csusm.edu

President Haynes to Share Innovative Program which
Improved Elementary Standardized Reading Test Scores by Nearly 90 Points

California State University San Marcos (CSUSM), in collaboration with the North County Professional Development Federation, the San Diego County Office of Education and ten North San Diego County school districts, will hold a press conference on Thursday, Feb. 9 at 10 a.m. to discuss the groundbreaking results from DREAM (Developing Reading Education with Arts Methods), a four-year arts integration program funded with a nearly $1 million grant through the United States Department of Education Office of Innovation and Improvement. 

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.  During the conference, viewers may e-mail their questions to mlutz@csusm.edu.

Participants are:
• Karen Haynes, CSUSM president
• Brenda Hall, director of the North County Professional Development Federation, DREAM Co-Director
• Merryl Goldberg, CSUSM professor of Visual and Performing Arts, DREAM c0-director
• Patti Saraniero, DREAM researcher
• Laurie Stowell, CSUSM professor of Literacy Education
• Hector Deleon, 3rd grade teacher at Vista Academy of Visual and Performing Arts
• 3rd grade students from Vista Academy of Visual and Performing Arts

Media representatives may attend the conference or ask questions by live stream. Email questions to mlutz@csusm.edu.

Who: Karen Haynes, CSUSM president; Brenda Hall, director of the North County Professional Development Federation, DREAM co-director; Merryl Goldberg, CSUSM professor of Visual and Performing Arts, DREAM c0-director; Patti Saraniero, DREAM researcher; Hector Deleon, 3rd grade teacher at the Vista Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (VAVPA) and 3rd grade students from VAVPA.

What: Press Conference to reveal the research results of DREAM (Developing Reading Education with Arts Methods), a four-year arts integration program funded with a nearly $1 million grant through the United States Department of Education Office of Innovation and Improvement. 

When: Thursday, Feb. 9 at 10 a.m.

Where: 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. During the conference, viewers may e-mail their questions to mlutz@csusm.edu.

Why: Standardized test scores in DREAM have improved by an astonishing 87 points. During DREAM’s first two years of implementation, 3rd and 4th graders in DREAM classrooms have consistently excelled on year-end test scores. Students beginning the year as the lowest performing students ended the year with the most gains in reading test scores. Using theater to teach literacy is an especially effective instructional tool.  Students in classes where teachers integrated theater to teach reading scored much higher on the reading comprehension and inference standardized tests.

About California State University San Marcos
California State University San Marcos combines the ambiance of a mid-sized, personal, modern campus with the unequaled value of the California State University. Since its founding in 1989, the campus has distinguished itself. Students benefit from the latest facilities and equipment, a superb faculty that enjoys teaching, and a rigorous academic program that prepares students for a successful life in and out of the workplace. A recent survey reported that the University’s annual spending in the region was $161 million, generating a total impact of $307 million on the regional economy. 85 percent of CSUSM’s alumni stay in the region. CSU San Marcos is located on a 304-acre hillside overlooking the city of San Marcos. It is fifteen miles east of the ocean; just thirty miles north of downtown San Diego.