Literacy is a huge concern in our society. There is a huge push to make sure that all students read on grade level, and there is much talk as to how to accomplish that task. Since many professionals have differing opinions on the best way to increase reading scores, I decided to look into school wide reading programs to see what is available for educators.
One of the articles that I really liked is entitled, Steps for School-Wide Reading Improvement. I like this article, as it breaks down information into the following easy to follow instructions:
- Part 1: Implementing a School-Wide Plan for Reading Improvement
o Step 1 – Leadership Team Part 1 – Getting Started
o Step 2 – Leadership Team Part 2 – Maintaining Momentum
o Step 3 – Engage in Professional Development To Improve Reading Instruction
o Step 4 – Make Adjustments to Your School-Wide Reading Programs
o Step 5 – Improve Parent Partnerships
- Part 2: Using Study Groups To Improve Reading in Your School
o 1 – Providing Ongoing Professional Development through Study Groups
o 2 – Literacy Development in Kindergarten: Phonemic Awareness, Phonics Instruction, and Oral Language Development
o 3 – Word Recognition
o 4 – Fluency
o 5 – Vocabulary
o 6 – Comprehension Strategies
o 7 – Talking and Writing about the Meaning of Text
o 8 – Motivation
o 9 – Balance Literacy Instruction and Assessment
o 10 – Meeting Individual Student’s Needs
Within each subcategory of the above outline, there are specific suggestions as to how to accomplish each task. The information provided is very well laid out, and it could be a good starting point for educators to start looking deeper into development a program to meet the needs of their individual students.
The next book that I would recommend for those that are looking at implementing a program is entitled, Taking Action on Adolescent Literacy. In Chapter 5: Develop and Implement a Schoolwide Literacy Action Plan, the authors state, “A schoolwide literacy action plan is an essential blueprint for improving student achievement. An effective plan requires the skillful use of data about student performance, literacy needs and expectations in the school and community, school capacity to support literacy development, current teaching practices, and effectiveness of the literacy program. To generate change, leaders must actively use a literacy action plan to guide decision making around instruction, programming, and resource allocation.” They go on to say, “An effective schoolwide literacy plan guides action on many levels, focusing multiple activities toward increasing students’ reading, writing, and thinking skills. A comprehensive literacy action plan has action steps related to five key areas:
- Strengthening Literacy Development Across the Content Areas;
- Literacy Interventions for Struggling Readers and Writers;
- School Policies, Structures, and Culture for Supporting Literacy;
- Building Leadership Capacity; and
- Supporting Teachers to Improve Instruction.
This information was provided to me at the following website:
No matter what format and program that a district decides to implement, it is important that all teachers are trained so that it is consistent school wide for students to have the best outcome. Children are the future, and it is our job to make sure that they can compete in this competitive, technological world. Without a good reading foundation, they could have many struggles throughout their lives.