Colquitt Regional Medical Center administration and staff recently honored elementary students who excelled in the educational program Fast ForWord during the last half of the 2013 school year.

Fast ForWord is a web-based educational software that serves as a resource for struggling readers and is backed with over 30 years of brain research. The program speeds up the learning process for students of different ages and abilities for those working at, above or below grade level by applying proven research on how the brain learns.

Jim Matney, president and CEO of Colquitt Regional; Mo Yearta, assistant school superintendent and Hospital Authority member; Renee Crosby, speech therapy director at Colquitt Regional; and Gracie Qurnell, Fast ForWord coach at Colquitt Regional, presented 20 students from Stringfellow Elementary and Cox Elementary with iPad Minis for their successful completion of the program.

Qurnell began training several teachers and assisting students in engaging in the program at Cox and Stringfellow in January. The teachers’ training was voluntary and was set up to help them understand the scientific research behind the Fast ForWord exercises. Qurnell also provided the teachers with intervention strategies when students’ challenges were identified.

Criteria for being eligible of winning the iPad Mini were set forth at the inception of the program. Each student had to have good attendance, successful participation and completion of the program, an effort to succeed, and a one-year gain in literacy and reading skills. The students surpassed each challenge. The average learning gain was two years. As a result, 10 students from Cox and 10 students from Stringfellow were presented with the iPad Minis during Honor’s Day at each school.

During the Honor’s Day programs, principals from both schools noted and praised the improved CRCT scores this year as a result of the Fast ForWord program. Not only did the program improve their cognitive skills, it helped improve their testing capabilities.

The Learning Center in the Speech Pathology Department, housed in the newly constructed Vereen Rehabilitation Center, also uses the Fast ForWord program for clients with learning struggles.

“Since its development in our department, parents have reported noticeable increases in their child’s attention span and reading skills,” said Crosby. “We are happy to offer this program to our patients and are thrilled to see the positive results.”

“These students proved that this program is an effective learning tool,” said Matney. “I’m thrilled that Colquitt Regional had a helping hand in offering this program so these kids can expand their minds and gain useful knowledge to successfully transition to the next level of education.”

If you are interested in learning more about The Learning Center at Colquitt Regional Medical Center, please contact Renee Crosby at or by calling 891-9323.


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