Immediate and gratifying successes were achieved in the 1997 Project Challenge program
after adding Action Reading to its curriculum.
The Arizona National Guard Project Challenge program provides a challenging, military-based
educational program in residence for high school dropouts who desire to succeed.
The intent of the program is to challenge each participant academically, physically,
psychologically and emotionally so they can function productively in Arizona's communities.
A further intent is to improve the life-skills and employability of the young people
who cease to attend secondary school before graduating.
Project Challenge directors recognized the association between poor reading skills
and behavioral problems associated with self esteem. The solution to improving the
reading skills of the lowest of the class was proven when Jeanie Eller was invited to train volunteer
tutors in her fast paced approach to teaching reading skills.
Jeanie Eller's method of teaching with the Action Reading phonics based program
was learned by the tutors in just three days and the results after only five weeks
and about 20 hours of volunteer tutoring were dramatic. TABE post test scores rose
an average of 4 grade levels and there was a marked improvement in participating
students' behavior. The increase of academic level and the significant behaviorial
shift have been attributed to the students' participation in the Action Reading
program by the school principal and directors of Project Challenge.