Reading help for Richland students

      RICHLAND, Wash. -- An intensive reading program takes off in Richland elementary schools.

      Sacajawea, Tapteal and Jefferson Elementary have all integrated Read Well. It's a program that integrates 40 minutes of intensive reading in small groups.

      Instruction focuses on phonics, reading fiction and non-fiction and answering comprehension questions.

      It's not part of the core curriculum yet - so it's still funded under title funds by the federal government.

      School administrators say the program has long-term benefits.

      "Once we get those foundational skills in place, then it wouldn't matter what curriculum we use. Because the foundational skills are firm - the students have them - they can access any curriculum we have to offer K-12," said Richland Instructional Specialist Sally Mack.

      Badger Mountain and Jason Lee Elementary are piloting the program for kindergarten through second graders.