Written by Teresa Murray, Northwest AEA CIM coach, and Curtis and B.J. Richards

It's Friday evening and the phone rings. What a surprise, it's Curtis Richards! Curtis is a fourth-grade student at West Monona Elementary. He is super excited to share some news. He is in the "top" reading group in his class and reading the same book as a student he views to be a "top" reader. He is thrilled to be in this group and very proud to see that the work he put in during his third-grade year has paid off in a HUGE way! 

Curtis was involved in the Comprehensive Intervention Model (CIM) first semester of third-grade. He participated in a layered intervention design consisting of Guided Reading Plus, Writing Aloud, and Comprehension Focus Group. These interventions, along with the dedication and hard work Curtis put into them, made a huge impact on not only changing Curtis' view of himself as both a reader and writer, but also the strategies he learned to use efficiently in his reading and writing. Curtis' success in literacy has also led to his discontinuation from a behavioral intervention, "Check-In/Check-Out (CICO)." He had received 100% on his behavior reports three weeks straight. Another huge celebration for Curtis and his family! His mom, BJ, is beyond thrilled for her son and has shared the following message:

"Curtis has had a fantastic start to his fourth-grade year. I told him that Mrs. Murray will be SO PROUD OF YOU! As you and Curtis were on the phone this evening, I could only hear you a bit, but I could SEE HIS HUGE SMILE AS HE TALKED TO YOU!  I wish I had my camera!! I teared up when he started to tell you his successes! From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for ALWAYS BELIEVING IN HIM AND NEVER GIVING UP! You were his STRENGTH when he felt like he was on a no-win road. He is doing fabulous this year!  He was also able to discontinue off CICO today as he had 3 weeks of 100%!! His fourth-grade classroom teacher, Mrs. Healy says that he continues to use so many different strategies you taught him when it comes to reading!!! I just can't say thank you enough and please KNOW THE POSITIVE IMPACT YOU MADE ON THIS YOUNG BOY!!! FOREVER THANKFUL!"

Curtis' call to say, "Thanks for never giving up on me and believing in me...and I DID IT!" and to let me know how much our work together had helped him to finally feeling success touched me in a very special way. As his interventionist and a Comprehensive Intervention Model coach to 32 of the 108 interventionists implementing this model, I see the impact CIM is making every single day but to hear it expressed directly from a student and his family is beyond rewarding.  

West Monona CSD is in its fifth year of the Comprehensive Intervention Model.  They have trained numerous teachers in the CIM model, as well as trained two Comprehensive Literacy Model (CLM) coaches at the Jacobson Center for Comprehensive Literacy at the University of Northern Iowa.  

For more information on the Comprehensive Intervention Model, please contact Teresa Murray, Pat Fostvedt-Oxendale, or Emily Koson at Northwest AEA.