Packed school board meeting in support of reading program

(KATV) A school board meeting for the Little Rock School District was standing room only tonight as supporters came out to speak to the school board about the abolition of the "Reading Recovery" program.

Superintendent Dexter Suggs announced the program would be replaced by another program, but has not given full details as to what the program would be.

"Do understand this is of no intent to actually reveal the total product of the actual plan we're going to implement. We will highlight that next month," Suggs said to the crowded room.

"If I asked what it's like to not be able to read, what it's like to see letters on a smart board, in a book, on a worksheet and not be able to read the words those letters make. Not to know the simple information they mean to convey," said one concerned parent of a child with learning disability as tears ran down her face.

Another parent said he believed the program needed to see an expansion to all schools.

"The right to read is a fundamental human right, it's one of those we have to move beyond lip service and really put our money where our mouths are," he said.

One reading volunteer, John Doyle, reads with two students for an hour a week. He says he believes the program is important and the time spent with each student individually does not need to be reduced.

"You need to work closely with the kids and not in small groups and the impact of that is worth fighting to save," Doyle said.