With Step Up for Students, Florida Elementary Students Can Use the Readability Program for Free

March 24, 2023

Step Up for Students Florida

Readability offers students access to a 24/7 reading tutor to help guide reading lessons and gain reading confidence and proficiency. While the program allows parents to sign up for a free trial period to explore it with their children, the program is now being offered free of charge to some students in Florida.

Thanks to a program called Step Up for Students, Florida elementary students can have access to the Readability program for free. The Step Up for Students program provides education scholarships to help pay for tutors and specialized programs that help children gain proficiency in reading and other core subjects. Readability offers its program through the organization’s New Worlds Reading Scholarship Program.

This scholarship program is accessible for Florida children in kindergarten through fifth grade. To qualify for this program, children also must meet specific requirements (related to test scores and other eligibility parameters). The program provides up to $500 to use towards specialized programs, tutoring, instructional materials and other resources that help support reading and literacy.

Children who qualify for the New Worlds Reading Scholarship Program can allocate the funds from the scholarship to pay for a Readability subscription. A monthly subscription costs $19.99.

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How Does Readability Help Struggling Readers?

For children who struggle with reading fluency and/or comprehension, Readability offers virtual tutoring services via its program. Readability is designed for children in grades kindergarten through sixth grade. The program features a level-based design structure that offers children access to a library of books at each level.

Parents can choose the appropriate reading level for their child, although it’s recommended that children begin the program at a reading level below their current level. This helps foster confidence.

Readability also offers a free reading assessment that parents can use to determine their child’s reading level. The assessment requires that children use a device that offers access to a microphone; the assessment will prompt children to read a passage aloud. Children can complete the assessment in about one minute, and parents will receive a reading report that shows their child’s reading level.

Lessons via Readability require children to read books aloud. The program includes a built-in AI tutor that’s programmed with voice-recognition software; when the child reads, the tutor assesses reading fluency and identifies when the child needs help. This virtual tutor guides lessons and provides additional assistance and encouragement.

At the end of each book, the tutor asks the child questions to determine their level of comprehension. If the child chooses an incorrect answer, the tutor shows them a section from the story that provides clues. The tutor reads the section aloud, and the child is provided with another opportunity to answer the question.

By helping children understand how to find answers and clues in the story, the tutor and the program reinforce a beneficial reading strategy—re-reading. If a child reads too quickly, isn’t focusing or simply has difficulty understanding a portion of a book or story, re-reading a section can help them better process the information.

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Readability Encourages Vocabulary Knowledge

Vocabulary knowledge aids reading and comprehension. One word can change the meaning of a sentence; if a child is unfamiliar with a word, they might have trouble comprehending aspects of a story. Readability aids in vocabulary mastery and in word exploration, too.

Each book in a child’s Readability library includes a list or vocabulary words. Children should review the meaning by listening to the word and hearing the definition.

In addition, children can tap any word in a story to hear the word used in a sentence or hear its definition. If children are unfamiliar with a word, Readability helps them understand its pronunciation and its meaning. Each discovered word is included in the child’s master vocabulary list; they have access to this list at any time to rediscover their vocabulary words and increase their word knowledge.

Younger Children Can Listen to Books via Readability

Reading aloud is beneficial for children to become more fluent readers. They also can listen to themselves as they read the book or story; reading aloud also might encourage children to be more deliberate with their pronunciation, too.

Listening to stories read aloud, though, also helps children become better readers. Listening to books can help children hear the emotions of the characters through narration, and hearing books also might enable children to enjoy books beyond their reading level.

Readability offers a Storytime feature for younger readers. This feature lets children enjoy listening to their favorite Readability books from anywhere. Children can follow along as they hear the story brought to life through narrated readings.  

Readability is Compatible with Accelerated Reader

Many school districts utilize the program Accelerated Reader to help assess a child’s reading comprehension. Accelerated Reader (AR) offers comprehension quizzes for thousands of book titles across many different grade levels.

When children finish reading a book at home or at school, their teacher might encourage them to take the AR quiz for the book. The program awards points to children when they score at a certain achievement level on their quiz (schools can set the level). Teachers might award prizes that correspond to a certain number of AR points, and this rewards system might motivate children to read more at home and at school, too.

Readability’s book titles are included in AR. When children read stories via Readability, they can take the quiz at school to earn AR points. This means that children won’t feel they are losing out on points when using the Readability program at home.

Parents can better understand the point value correlating to books in Readability by searching for the book title via the Accelerated Reader Bookfinder tool.

How Can Parents Assess the Effectiveness of Readability?

When using Readability through the Step Up for Students New Worlds Reading Scholarship Program, parents will want assurance that the program can and will benefit their child and help them gain reading proficiency. How can parents measure the program’s effectiveness and follow their child’s progress?

Readability offers a special portal that is only accessible to parents. This portal includes the following reading data for each child:

  • Reading Level
  • Reading comprehension
  • Reading fluency (measured in words read per minute)

In addition, parents also can see how long their child used the program. Parents can log into their private portal at any time to follow their child’s reading journey. They also can collate their child’s reading data into a report that can be emailed to the child’s teacher. This reading report helps facilitate communication between parents and the school and helps ensure that everyone is on the same page related to the child’s reading progress and proficiency.

Signing Up for Readability

Parents whose children are eligible for the New Worlds Reading Scholarship Program through the Step Up for Students program can allocate the scholarship funds towards a monthly Readability subscription. While this scholarship program is only available to Florida students who meet specific criteria, parents of struggling readers in other states can sign up for a free seven-day trial period to explore the program and better understand how it can help a child gain confidence and proficiency. Sign up today and meet the AI tutor.