January 13, 2010
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If you were told that reading is the most important skill you will need in life, would you believe it? I didn’t when my dad told me. But over time I realized I was wrong.

It started with my high school standardized testing scores. I consistently ranked in the bottom quartile. My junior year when I got my results back from the WKCE test, I scored in the eighth percentile in the reading category… After seeing this I couldn’t help but try to walk through the halls unnoticed as everyone compared papers with each other. I looked at people’s faces, pale like a ghost, embarrassed at how bad I did.

Shortly after, my dad and I had a talk. I didn’t know what to expect. He said he found a reading program I might want to take. It was through the Huntington Learning Center. I wasn’t really excited about the idea because it was three days a week, for two and a half hours each day. My dad said, “If you do this now, it will pay off for you in the long run, even if you can’t see that now.” I agreed and gave it a shot.

The first time I walked into Huntington in October of 2008, I thought, great, now I get to go to school after school. I was wrong. I enjoyed being there, and became so motivated to get my work done that I was completing almost twice the work each time! When I started, Doug and Jen, the owners, told me I was set for a schedule that would last 14 months. I proved them wrong and finished my entire course in 10 months.
I took the ACT test for the second time eight months into my reading course, and improved my overall score by four points, and my reading by 10. This put me in the 50th percentile. This was a huge improvement from the eighth percentile on the WKCE test I had taken 9 months earlier.

I am proud of the fact that I raised my reading level four grades and happy that my classes have become much easier. My dad always tells me, “It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish that counts.” I now understand the importance of that.

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