I was milling around at the ESL/Bilingual Symposium in Yonkers on Friday when a sign stopped me in my tracks: SRA.
Remember SRA Reading Laboratory? It’s a color-coded set of reading materials that comes in a big box, with stories printed on glossy cards. You move up from one color to another, representing your level: rose, red, orange, brown … and eventually, to the purple summit of reading comprehension.
Me, I remember only the frustration of languishing in orange and brown during fourth grade. When I asked around the office here, my fellow reporter Greg Clary proudly remembered “getting into the purples.”
The Reading Laboratory Kit was introduced in 1957 as a means of individualized classroom instruction, according to the “Web site of SRA,”:http://SRAonline.com now a division of McGraw Hill. The Labs are now accompanied by a CD-ROM. SRA, by the way, stands for Science Research Associates.
“Instruction has changed so much from when we were young,” said Patrizia Raimo, who works in the Title I office of the Yonkers school system. She remembers SRA competition during her elementary school days at St. Anthony’s in the Bronx.
Raimo, 42, said reading instruction has grown more diversified. That was clear from the symposium, attended by about 350 teachers, administrators and parents from the district. The workshops covered a number of approaches used in English instruction, including tutoring, environmental education, digital photography, technology, bilingual programs and parent involvement.