‘MindPlay’ tutors reading as Colleges Woo Seniors

Miami Christian School students have a very specialized reading tutor: “MindPlay Virtual Reading Coach,” designed to teach core reading competency.

The scope of the program includes phonemic awareness, vocabulary, phonics, comprehension, and grammar interpretation for meaning and fluency alike.

Especially effective for students struggling to adapt to a new language, the “Coach” begins with an assessment that identifies specific instructional needs before building a “Prescriptive Reading Plan” for each individual student.

Students can log in at school or home to master each program level, advancing to higher levels at their own pace to increase reading ability.
“It’s great to have students working at their individual reading levels because we have such a diverse population,” comments ESE teacher Vicky Vila who was the impetus behind bringing the MCS program to MCS. “MindPlay integrates what they are learning with technology-based reading tools.”

The program was found to be so effective that MCS engaged a full time facilitator to monitor student progress, making sure each consistently meets required weekly time for the program. One of the first success stories: a fourth grader who began the school year reading at a first-grade level and advancing to a fourth-grade level by the end of the year. The program is now open to students of all ages

Every five to seven years, MCS chooses a new Academic School Improvement Project to share with a visiting accreditation team. The last such project audited the correlation between student tardiness to its effect on standardized test scores. Next fall, a visiting team visiting will review the correlation between the use of the MindPlay program with student participant reading scores and abilities. Students continuing the program over summer months are rewarded in a special assembly with MindPlay trophies.

In other news, college acceptances have started coming in for seniors, with congratulations in order for Naomi Granado, accepted at Savannah (GA) College of Art and Design, as well as the Academy of the Art University in San Francisco, CA, both impressive institutions in higher art education. In addition, Christopher Abello has not only been accepted to Seton Hall University but offered an $80,000 four-year scholarship. * On Oct. 31, MCS students, staff and parents enjoyed “Harvest Fun Day,” as elementary students decorated pumpkins, enjoyed hay rides and pumpkin relay races, dressed as farmers. Middle school students made caramel apples and decorated class pumpkins while high schoolers got in on the fun by serving cotton candy, snow cones and an IHop Breakfast. As a donation to MCS, IHop came on campus to cook breakfast, sold to MCS family members with the school keeping all proceeds beyond expense.

The National Beta Service Club annual Mission/Service projects encourage MCS families to bring in shoe boxes filled with items to be sent to children around the world. A decorated Christmas tree in the front office serves as a holiday reminder to donate a gift box with all donations placed under the tree. Club sponsor Donna Gehring and Beta Club members wrap the boxes in holiday paper before sending them along for distribution by the organization.

Finally. the fall tapping for the National Honor Society recognized seven new inductees: Christian Vila, Justin Marono, Alekzander Reyes, Julitza Lopez, Nelson Porras, Samara Shute and Nina Beam. Congratulations to all for achieving this high academic honor.

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About the Author

Gloria Burns
A graduate of the University of Florida with a major in Spanish, Burns has an extensive background in advertising, marketing and reciprocal trade, travel as well as non profit consulting and management. Burns' volunteer activities led her to become a columnist writing Gloria’s Gab, a column that focuses on the non-profit activity. Burns was Executive Director of the Jr. Orange Bowl Committee for 6 years and then served as the first Executive Director of Coral Gables Community Foundation for 14 years after which she helped the emerging Community Foundation of Pinecrest. Active in many non profits, she received the 2015-16 President's Best Member Award from the GFWC Coral Gables Woman's Club, 2012-13 CGWC Leadership Award, 2012-2013 Rotarian of the Year Award as RCCG Public Relations Chair and Fund raising Co-Chair, 2011 Florida Federation of Women’s Club Volunteer of the Year for the District 11 and honored by the City of Doral as one of their first recipients for the Doralian Women's Award. Among her list of current responsibilities, Burns co-chairs two annual student recognition breakfasts for the Coral Gables Friends of Education; helps coordinate charity partners for the Westin Colonnade's Annual Give Kids the World Breakfast; serves on the board of directors of Doral Business Council; is Parliamentarian and serves on the board of the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club; serves the board of the Rotary Club of Coral Gables and is Publicity Chair; and is a member of the Jr. Orange Bowl Committee. Gloria is also an active member of the Music Ministry at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church where sings sings in the choir. She can be reached at gloria@communitynewspapers.com

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