The Exemplary Reading Program Award recognizes outstanding reading and language arts programs at all grade levels (elementary, middle, and high school). Its purpose is to call the publicâ€™s attention to outstanding programs in schools throughout Canada and the United States. One school can be chosen per state every year after completing an extensive application detailing and outlining the schoolâ€™s literacy program evidenced by student achievement data. IRA judges along with judges from the stateâ€™s reading association make a surprise site visit to see the program in action to validate the schoolâ€™s program before selecting the state winner. The winners are then honored at the International Reading Association Convention.
The 2013 Wisconsin Exemplary Reading Program Award was awarded to all 4 elementary schools in the School District of Fort Atkinson with their systemic implementation of the Partnerships in Comprehensive Literacy (PCL) Model across the district. This was the first time a district and not a single school was awarded the honor. Amy Oakley, Director of Instruction, Rachel Ehlen, K-2 Literacy Coach, Candice Johnson 3-5 Literacy Coach, Kara Krausse, Grade 5 Model Classroom Teacher, and Denise Engstrom, Grade 3 Classroom Teacher attended the 53rd Annual IRA Convention in San Antonio to accept the award.