It is one of the highest honors of my life to speak to the impact of Dr. Swaby's Reading Training on an elementary public school in Colorado. I believe that I can speak to this attributable impact, having implemented her teachings into four different elementary schools, as an administrator.
The academic achievement of elementary students in reading performance at all four sites received remarkable attention.
Governor Bill Owens invited my Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Dwight Jones, and me to the State of the Union Address for the State of Colorado as a successful example of possibilities pertaining to student achievement particularly in the area of reading. I was serving as the elementary principal of Patriot Elementary School at that time. It is without reservation that I acknowledge that it should have been Dr. Barbara Swaby receiving the notoriety on that day and not administration. When I opened Patriot Elementary School in the fall of 2003, it was with full reign to make decisions on hiring staff and purchasing curriculum. Dr. Swaby assisted me in staff development, and we brought her "elements of a reading program" and "elements of a reading lesson" to our building school-wide. We received a rating of HIGH from the State in our first year and soared to a rating of EXCELLENT in our second year with her guidance. NO school in our district had ever previously received such a high rating for academic achievement.
At another site, Beacon Primary School, I purchased no boxed reading curriculum but chose to operate off of Dr. Swaby's reading strategies entirely and moved students in that first grade from a 26% reading score to a 99% reading score in one year's time on a standardized assessment. We repeated that success in our second grades and in our second year of assessment, as well.
I am currently serving as the elementary principal of Eagleside Elementary School in Fountain, Colorado. This is, once again, a NEW school that just opened in August. I have, once again, implemented Dr. Swaby's Reading Program throughout this building. Dr. Swaby assisted me in the staff development process with all teachers. We are receiving remarkable reviews, again, and are currently documenting remarkable student growth in the area of reading.
This is, without question, the most effective reading instruction that can be found. I have utilized her programmatic elements in schools on the Army Post of Fort Carson with a mobility rate of 40% to low socio-economic schools to higher affluent schools with equal success. Her components clearly define the necessary elements that must be included in each reading lesson; she lays out the necessary time commitment to each component and gives the rationale behind each component's inclusion. Visitors to Eagleside Elementary School are impressed beyond belief to the vision of this training's implementation building-wide and of its apparent impact to our student achievement. I cannot possibly use mere words to tell you how valuable Dr. Swaby's Reading Training is to the students of this community. It is simply the most amazing plan for providing the most effective instruction to students in reading that I have ever seen. Thank you, Dr. Swaby, from all the students of our community!
Kathy Van't Hul, Principal of Eagleside Elementary School
"Doctor Swaby has been very kind, as well as, changing my reading career. You don't and will never know how much I enjoy Doctor Swaby.
First things first, I enjoy just being around Doctor Swaby. She will make you laugh. Doctor Swaby makes you smart from head-to-toe. She lets you stand out like a light bulb.
Before I knew Doctor Swaby I was weak in comprehension, fluency, and just plain old reading; however, Doctor Swaby changed that completely.
Last but not least, I was in Doctor Swaby's clinic three times. She doesn't just say that you have one clinic. She guides and helps you succeed over time. Doctor Swaby will keep you until you are ready to go out on your own, like a young bird leaving the nest forever.
Clearly, Doctor Swaby can help you in hard situations. Doctor Swaby is kind, caring, and will change your life forever."
From Amanda Li Mingquan Eubanks
"What does a parent do when your child struggles with reading? Consult the school, hire tutors, do therapies, despair. A bright, hard working child was being doomed to a future with much less potential.
One spring day we walked into Dr. Barbara Swaby's office. No case history questions were asked. My daughter, Amanda, simply read a few passages, both out loud and silently and answered some comprehension questions and within 10 minutes we had a diagnosis of her reading situation and a solution to the problems.
We were promised a spot in her next reading clinic. After three clinics my daughter is reading at grade level. She reads directions and figures things out, she reads for pleasure, she is proud of herself.
It is with incredible knowledge and understanding that Dr. Swaby has put together a program such as this. But that is not all because she has done all this with compassion and true understanding of children. She cares about each child and their family.
Dr. Swaby and her students changed my family's lives forever. She will be a part of the wonderful things Amanda will accomplish in life. How do you thank someone who has done these things? From the bottom of my heart I thank Dr. Swaby and UCCS for this program."