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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Title I?

Title I is a federally-funded program that was created to broaden and strengthen educational programs for children who need additional instruction in basic and higher-order thinking skills. Federal funds are distributed to each state, which in turn are distributed to school districts by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The state administers the program and evaluates the school districts to ensure that federal and state guidelines are met. The Shikellamy School District uses these federal funds to provide services for students who need additional support in reading. Title I Reading is not part of our Special Education Program, which is separately funded and has unique guidelines for children with different needs.


Our Title I Program is offered as a supplement to instruction, not as a substitute for reading instruction in the regular classroom. The Title I program provides the corrective action needed to encourage progress and successful educational growth.  Studies have shown that children with difficulties in reading may experience repeated failures in the classroom, which may lead to feelings of frustration and low self-esteem. The Title I program was established to enable these students to develop competence in reading, a more positive self-image, and to increase their success and enjoyment in the regular education classroom.

What are the goals of Title I?

The Title I Reading program strives to meet the following goals:

  • To ensure success in reading in the regular classroom setting
  • To attain grade-level proficiency in reading
  •  To improve achievement and success in both basic and more advanced skills in all academic areas

What does a reading specialist do?

The reading specialist’s main role in the Title I program is to reteach, reinforce, and provide practice to ensure that the reading skills introduced by the classroom teacher are learned, used, and transferred to the students’ daily work. Reading specialists attempt to provide guidance and successful experiences in reading so that each student is able to make progress and improve self-confidence. They collaborate with the classroom teacher on a regular basis to share student progress and to design lessons that supplement the reading instruction in the regular classroom. Reading specialist also provide parents with ways to help their children their children improve in reading through open house events, parent-teacher conferences, and Title I parent meetings.

How can I help my child?

Parents play a crucial part in the successful educational experiences of their children. By working together, teachers and parents can try to ensure that children have a positive learning experience, both at home and at school.  


You can help your child in the following ways:

  • Take an interest in your child’s schoolwork every day.
  • Make sure your child completes homework assignments.
  • Read to your child and encourage him/her to read to you.
  • Ask questions before, during, and after reading, such as:
    • What do you think this book will be about?
    • What do you think will happen next?
    • Name/describe the characters, setting, problem, solution.
  • Monitor how much time your child spends on electronics, including TV and video games.
  • Set a reasonable bedtime hour for your child.
  • Learn about your child’s Title I reading program by attending parent meetings.

What are sight words/high frequency words/popcorn words?

Most teachers use both these terms interchangeably to describe the easy words that occur frequently in texts. However, technically, there is slight difference between "sight words" and "high frequency words."

High frequency words are words that most frequently occur in written text. Words such as the, a, to, from, and for are examples of high frequency words. Many high frequency words cannot be sounded out easily, so it is important that students learn these words from memory.

Sight words are words that recognized instantly and pronounced without sounding out the word.  Sight words can include high frequency words (the, a, to) but can also include words like elevator and hippopotamus if students can read them automatically without hesitation.

The term "popcorn words" is a student-friendly name for high frequency words. It reminds students that these words "pop up" in the text all the time.