May Faculty Highlight: Keri Levine

Meet Keri Levine, MS, Instructor of the Multisensory Reading Practicum: Using the PAF Program.

1. Tell us about your professional background.

I have been teaching in the White Plains School District for 21 years. My current position in the district is the K-5 Special Education Instructional Coach. I support special education teachers instructionally in ICT, CT, and self-contained settings, with a large focus on reading assessment and reading instruction that aligns with the Science of Reading (SoR).  I am currently leading professional development offered to K-12 teachers on the Science of Reading (SoR).

I am finishing my second year at Fordham University in the Educational Leadership and Administration EdD program. My dissertation problem of practice is building knowledge for teachers in the Science of Reading (SoR).  

2. In your experience, what has been the value of implementing the PAF Reading Program with your students? How does it benefit struggling readers in particular? 

The PAF Reading Program is an evidenced-based multisensory approach to phonics instruction. I have used PAF for whole class, small group, and 1:1 instruction. All students made significant gains in phonological awareness, decoding, and reading comprehension. For struggling readers, PAF uses multi-sensory techniques to facilitate acquisition of phonics knowledge, decoding, and sight-reading skills. The PAF approach teaches word structure systematically and incrementally. Students must master each level before moving on to the next level. 

3. Give us background on the Multisensory Reading Practicum: Using the PAF Program that occurs every summer.

The practicum started in the Portchester School District summer program a number of years ago. I started teaching the PAF practicum in 2012 and then I moved it to the White Plains School District to broaden the student selection process and to be able to follow up with the participating students throughout the next school year. Prior to the pandemic, teachers worked with students from the White Plains School District K-2 summer school program for daily in-person instruction for 3 weeks in July. The students are all students selected for summer school because they are below the benchmark in reading.  

4. What will participants gain from the Multisensory Reading Practicum: Using the PAF Program this summer?

This year, for the first time, teachers will be working with students virtually. They will choose their own students using a selection criterion and engage in a 60-minute synchronous lesson via zoom with my support.  The participants will learn how to administer assessments and use these assessments to design lessons specific to the individual needs of their students. They will also learn how PAF aligns with the Science of Reading and the importance of phonics as one of the essential components of reading. Conducting the practicum via zoom will be new this year, providing the advantage to the participants to learn how to provide this type of instruction remotely. I have used PAF via zoom remotely and my students have shown tremendous growth!