By Kaitlyn Pake, Public Relations Intern


Have you ever wondered what life would be like if reading or comprehension came as a struggle to you? Something so simple that many individuals take for granted every day. Something so simple yet something so many others strive to understand.

However, doors have been opened for those who tussle with low literacy skills. The Barton Reading and Spelling System is an ongoing intervention that currently serves hundreds of people in our community and nationwide. Due to the unemployment rate and the reduction of funding from school systems, the number of individuals seeking these services has steadily increased over the past few years.
Success is always the end result with the Barton system. Over the years, countless success stories have surfaced but there are three stories in particular that exemplify the program as a whole.

Shannon was a 14 year old female, who was being homeschooled. Upon entering the Barton system, Shannon was reading at a third grade level. After three years in the program, Shannon graduated at a twelfth grade reading level. Not only did her reading, writing, and spelling improve, but she also grew into a confident young lady with personal goals she is now able to pursue.

Jason, a young boy who had been enrolled in special education classes at a public school, entered the program as a fourth grade male reading at a second grade level. In two years his reading improved from 2.6 (2nd grade, 6th month) to a 6.5 (6th grade, 5th month) and he graduated reading at his grade level.

Brad, an adult enrolled in the Barton system, was reading at a 2.7 grade level. Seventeen months later, he was reading at a 6.5 grade level. Brad felt he had reached his reading goal but chose to continue with literacy services and strive to improve his workplace skills.


The graph to the right shows a representation of data collected from students in Midland, MI who went through the Barton Reading and Spelling System. It is easy to see the significant improvement in reading grade levels for all students included in the results. The first bar on the graph is the student’s initial reading level when they entered the system. The second bar on the graph is the student’s reading level a year later when they completed the system. bartongraph2
bartongraph Another graph which displays the results of adult learners in Midland, MI who have also gone through the Barton Reading and Spelling System demonstrates much of the same improvement. This is a snapshot collection of data over a one year time frame that incorporates the length of the system. The average grade level improvement was 3.7.Studentreading