Aragon MS student named a 2018 READ 180 national winner

May 24, 2018

Aragon Middle School eighth-grade student Lessly Bazaldua (second from left) stands with her family after she was surprised as one of four READ 180 (Stage B) winners from across the nation. READ 180 is an intervention program that uses adaptive technology to personalize instruction and help students progress in literacy and math achievement. Bazaldua earned a $500 prize. Joining in on the surpise were Bazaldua’s parents Julian (left) and Maria (second from right), and her brother Juan. The Student Awards program is in its 12th year and is organized by global learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to honor students through their success.
Aragon Middle School eighth-grade student Lessly Bazaldua (second from left) stands with her family after she was surprised as one of four READ 180 (Stage B) winners from across the nation. READ 180 is an intervention program that uses adaptive technology to personalize instruction and help students progress in literacy and math achievement. Bazaldua earned a $500 prize. Joining in on the surpise were Bazaldua’s parents Julian (left) and Maria (second from right), and her brother Juan. The Student Awards program is in its 12th year and is organized by global learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to honor students through their success.

May 24, 2018—Aragon Middle School eighth-grade student Lessly Bazaldua was selected as a 180 Student Award Winner, as she was one of four READ 180 (Stage B) winners from across the nation and was formally recognized during a surprise visit at the school May 21 by her family and campus and CFISD administrators.

The surprise came in the classroom of Shashi Chugh, Aragon’s READ 180 teacher who helped motivate Bazaldua and ignite her passion for reading. Bazaldua was surprised with not just the news, but also a $500 prize.

Aragon Middle School READ 180 teacher Shashi Chugh (left) holds the ceremonial check that was presented to Aragon eighth-grader Lessly Bazaldua (right) during a classroom surprise May 21. Bazaldua was one of four READ 180 (Stage B) winners from across the nation.
Aragon Middle School READ 180 teacher Shashi Chugh (left) holds the ceremonial check that was presented to Aragon eighth-grader Lessly Bazaldua (right) during a classroom surprise May 21. Bazaldua was one of four READ 180 (Stage B) winners from across the nation.

“Things are possible to do if you put hard work into it,” she said. “I learned a lot of things from this program. When I first started, I was confused and I didn’t know what was the whole point of it. But now that I’ve come through a path of hard work in this program, things are easier and things can be possible.”

READ 180 is an intervention program that uses adaptive technology to personalize instruction and help students progress in literacy and math achievement. The Student Awards program is in its 12th year and is organized by global learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to honor students through their success.

Bazaldua’s parents immigrated to the United States from Mexico and English is her second language. Introduced to READ 180 in seventh grade, she struggled early and started middle school with a 57 as her Lexile score, which measures a student’s reading ability level.

Julian Bazaldua hugs his daughter, Aragon Middle School eighth-grade student Lessley Bazaldua after he and his wife Maria surprised Lessley with the news that she was one of four READ 180 (Stage B) winners from across the nation and earned a $500 prize.
Julian Bazaldua hugs his daughter, Aragon Middle School eighth-grade student Lessley Bazaldua after he and his wife Maria surprised Lessley with the news that she was one of four READ 180 (Stage B) winners from across the nation and earned a $500 prize.

Her score is now 940. Her success has also resulted in her passing the STAAR test.

“Lessly really didn’t win the award – she earned it,” Chugh said. “I cannot tell enough about her dedication. She’s incredible and she’s a role model. She teaches my other READ 180 students. It is such a pleasure to see that.”

Aragon Middle School READ 180 teacher Shashi Chugh hugs Lessly Bazaldua after the eighth-grade student was notified May 21 that she was one of four READ 180 (Stage B) winners from across the nation. Bazaldua started middle school with a 57 as her Lexile score, which measures a student’s reading ability level, and has increased it to 940
Aragon Middle School READ 180 teacher Shashi Chugh hugs Lessly Bazaldua after the eighth-grade student was notified May 21 that she was one of four READ 180 (Stage B) winners from across the nation. Bazaldua started middle school with a 57 as her Lexile score, which measures a student’s reading ability level, and has increased it to 940

Added Julian Bazaldua, Lessly’s father: “I’m so proud of her. She always laughs and smiles, and is always making jokes. She’s an energy girl and is always wanting to learn something new.”

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