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The Benefits of Intensive Reading Programs by Heather Harvey

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Heather Harvey spent the first 10 years of her teaching career teaching in Infants and Primary Schools where she taught at every level from Kindergarten to grade 6. As a young teacher she was often given the classes that 'nobody else wanted' and very quickly developed an abiding interest in reading problems.

In 1973 she was appointed to The Entrance High School as one of the first secondary Remedial Reading Teachers in the state. In 1974 she introduced Literacy Classes for Adults at The Entrance Evening College. Heather Harvey commented 'it was this contact with adult non-readers and an appreciation of the burden of shame which they all felt, which determined my future path in teaching. I wanted to make sure that students at my school didn't slip through the net.'

In 1977, the author completed a Diploma of Special Education externally at Mitchell C.A.E. and followed it up with a Bachelor of Education (specialising in Special Education) at Charles Sturt Uni. in 1991.

In 1992 she published a set of Intensive Reading Programs For Secondary Students which received critical acclaim from teachers, educators and parents alike. These programs are now being used in every state of Australia from small outback schools to the largest exclusive private schools.

The addition of novels, activity books and audio at each level of the Primary Program means there is always a book the student can pick up and read or listen to, and resources that teachers can rely upon to reinforce necessary reading skills in a structured, relevant and enjoyable fashion.

The publication of a series of secondary novels and activity books means that reluctant and failing teenage readers have a novel they can look forward to reading. In fact the mother of a 13 year old rang recently to say she had 'caught her son reading a book at 7 o'clock in the morning!" Her surprise was due to the fact that firstly her son was never up that early, and secondly she had never seen him read a book. The book in question was "Grudge Match" and her inquiry was, "Are there any more books like this and where can I get them?".

The demand for the Intensive Reading Programs written and published by Heather Harvey resulted in her resigning from her full time STLD position at The Entrance High School in 1996 and concentrating fulltime on her publishing business while at the same time fulfilling an ever increasing number of speaking engagements, ranging from staff inservice and development days in both state and private schools, lectures to Special Education students, to conferences at local, regional and state level.




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