How Can We Address this Crisis?
Studies conducted at the SUNY Albany conclude that children who are weak in reading at the first grade level will continue to be weak in all language arts areas. In addition, children who are not reading by the third grade will fail at all subjects going forward unless a strong intervention is provided. An effective intervention must build on the strengths of the student, overcome his or her weaknesses and clarify any confusion that exists. Only through the implementation of an evidenced-based intervention process utilizing an established and recognized pre and post assessments integrated into individual learning plans for each child, is there any chance of reversing the process of poor reading in the Rochester City School system or any school system for that matter.
In 2002, using his own resources, George Mercier started the Mercier Literacy Program, now entitled Mercier Literacy For Children. The program currently provides evidenced-based language arts instruction for approximately 315 urban children grades K-6 in Rochester, New York. The program’s mission is to increase children’s literacy skills, from emerging reader and writer levels to fluent reader and writer levels, consistently improve student reading and writing and enhance student self-efficacy. The Mercier Literacy For Children process motivates and reinforces each student’s attitude to become lifelong readers.