[ back ]
Westland HS student, first "All Star Reader" from Ohio
Jiewen Wu was honored at a recent board of education meeting for his achievements in reading. He is holding a check beside his teacher Victoria Blubaugh. Also shown are board members Karen Dover, Randy Reisling, Cathy Johnson, Mindy Garverick, Jo Ellen Myers Scholastic representative Shawn Meddock.
Every year Scholastic recognizes students across the country who overcome obstacles in reading comprehension with their Read 180 and Read 44 All Star Awards.
Last month 12 students were named All Star readers – including Westland High School sophomore, Jiewen Wu.
“Jiewen is the first winner ever from Ohio,” instructor Victoria Blubaugh said.
According to Blubaugh, three high school students are nominated from all students enrolled in the Read 180 program – based on gains, obstacles overcome, and overall performance. This year, over 400 students were nominated.
Wu, a Cantonese speaker, struggled with classes his first year at Westland. According to Blubaugh, it was difficult for Wu to participate in class.
However, after five months with Read 180 and the results of his first based progress report came in November, with a gain of 209 points – it gave Wu the confidence boost he needed.
“Jiewen is a different student than the one who walked through the door in August,” Blubaugh said. “…at that point, his confidence soared, and he became a class leader overnight.”
“Before, I just sat in there and listened to the teacher, but I didn’t understand anything. This year, I can talk, I can understand what the teacher says, I can read loudly in class, I can ask questions, I can help my classmates; I am on the honor roll,” Wu said.
Read 180 has been used in the South-Western City School district for several years now, but Westland is the first high school to pilot ESL classes with the program.
“I’ve taught long enough that I’ve seen the latest and greatest before, so I’m not easily impressed. I really believe in Read 180. It has provided an excellent framework for my students to make measurable gains in an area that was extremely difficult for them before,” Blubaugh said.
Wu said he succeeded because he worked hard, and that Read 180 helped him further his reading skills.
Scholastic has awarded Wu with $1,200 to use towards college, which he intends to attend for math or physics. Also, Wu recieved an engraved plaque, and a hard-bound set of the “Harry Potter” series, along with study supplies.
As the nominating teacher, Blubaugh received a voucher for $1,000 to spend on additional Read 180 material.
“Last year, I liked reading but I wasn’t very good at it. This year, I like both and I can do both much better. I plan to read my Harry Potter books this summer,” Wu said.
[ back ]