Jan. 20, 2004

Contact: Todd Cohen, University Relations, (785) 864-8858.

MEDIA ADVISORY: Laura Bush visit in Florida tomorrow to highlight success of KU reading program

WHAT: First lady Laura Bush will tour a middle school in Orlando, Fla., tomorrow to highlight its improving reading scores. The school uses a successful reading program developed by the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning. Don Deshler, professor of education and director of KU's Center for Research on Learning, will accompany the president's wife and will take part in a roundtable discussion with Bush and other education researchers and teachers. The visit will follow tonight's State of the Union address, in which the president is expected to call for more funding for adolescent literacy.

WHEN: Wednesday, Jan. 21

WHERE: Discovery Middle School, Orlando, Fla.

BACKGROUND:
Discovery Middle School has implemented the Strategic Instruction Model (SIM) developed by researchers and teachers at the KU Center for Research on Learning.

SIM is an approach to teaching adolescents who struggle to become good readers, writers and learners. It is based on the reality that for adolescents to meet high standards, they must be able to read and understand large volumes of complex, difficult reading materials. Additionally, they must be able to express themselves in writing.

SIM includes instruction in visual imagery, paraphrasing, vocabulary, and strategies to learn sentence writing, paragraph writing and theme writing.

More than 400,000 educators and 3,500 school disticts have adopted SIM components, and several states -- including California, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Vermont -- have implemented SIM statewide.

PROFESSOR DON DESHLER
Deshler and his colleagues at the Center for Research on Learning designed and validated the SIM program. Deshler received the J.E. Wallace Wallin Award from the Council for Exceptional Children and the Learning Disabilities Association award for outstanding research and service for at-risk populations.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: http://www.kucrl.org

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