From the category archives:

Literacy

Reading for Life: Writing for Life

by Rhonda H. Lauer April 28, 2011
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A few weeks ago I came across a fascinating interview with Keren Taylor, the founder of the non-profit organization WriteGirl that pairs professional women writers with high school girls in Los Angeles. Local English teachers help the organization identify girls who would most benefit from the program, both low and high achievers, from a variety of cultures and family backgrounds.

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Using Coaching and Mentoring to Improve Instructional Quality

by Phyllis Glassman April 20, 2011
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Student achievement is highly dependent on instructional quality, yet many teachers receive few opportunities for ongoing professional development. Instructional coaching deepens, expands, and sustains professional learning. Effective coaching and mentoring initiatives instill a culture of collaboration and knowledge-sharing throughout the entire school community.

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Long-Term Connections between Third Grade Reading, Graduation, and Poverty are Found in Casey Foundation Study

by Jennifer Kobrin April 14, 2011
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Earlier this week, a study commissioned by the Casey Foundation found that high school dropout rates for students who were unable to read on grade level by third grade were four times higher than students who read proficiently by third grade. 88% of students who did not graduate from high school were either “below basic,” or “basic, not proficient” on reading tests in third grade. The effects increased significantly when poverty was taken into consideration.

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Reading for Life: What it Means to be Literate

by Rhonda H. Lauer April 6, 2011
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Recently, I’ve been thinking about the meaning of the word literacy. The definition has become a bit muddled lately; these days we talk about computer literacy, cultural literacy, and environmental literacy. Used in this sense, it means “knowledge of a particular subject or field.”

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8 Recommendations to Get All Kids Reading on Grade Level by 3rd Grade: “Do Now’s” for School and District Leaders

by Gail Meister March 30, 2011
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In 2008, Foundations joined the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Making Connections initiative, a decade-long effort to improve outcomes for children living in tough neighborhoods. The result of this collaboration is our 8 A’s—specific recommendations we believe will lead to all students reading on grade level by the end of 3rd grade.

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Grade Level Reading Continues to Receive National Attention, Amidst Huge Cuts to Literacy Programs

by Martha Cook Davidson March 11, 2011
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As grade level reading continued to gain attention on the national stage last week, we also experienced draconian cuts to literacy programs that help our kids. My colleague, Jen Kobrin wrote last week about the Grade-Level Reading symposium at our own Beyond School Hours conference, which was followed by a gathering of literacy funders in Washington, DC, hosted by The Annie E. Casey Foundation.

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Reading for Life: Beyond School Hours

by Rhonda H. Lauer February 23, 2011
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This week in Atlanta, Georgia, Foundations is holding its fourteenth annual Beyond School Hours (BSH) conference. BSH is a nationally recognized gathering of educators and thought leaders who are committed to improving teaching and learning in school, afterschool, and in our homes and communities. Once again, this year’s focus is my number-one issue: grade level reading.

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A trip to the Roots Conference in California (and Pedro Noguera)

by Jennifer Kobrin February 19, 2011
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This week I traveled to Visalia, California—an incredibly beautiful place at the foothills of the Sierra mountains in California’s Central Valley—to give a workshop at the first annual Roots Conference. On the second day, Pedro Noguera spoke for almost an hour. Two major themes came up during his talk. One: there are examples of effective schools out there but we are not doing enough to replicate them. Two: the problem is not the kids, or their parents.

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Reading for Life: Striving Readers

by Rhonda H. Lauer February 2, 2011
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It’s no secret that reading is crucial to academic and life success. It’s also no secret that even young children comprehend its significance: students who read below grade level frequently suffer from low self-esteem, which can snowball into behavioral and social problems. At Foundations, we refer to students who are not reading at grade level as “striving readers.” We prefer to use the word “striving” (rather than struggling) because it connotes hopefulness, diligent effort, and desire to achieve.

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Reading for Life: Technology for Reading – It’s Elementary!

by Rhonda H. Lauer January 12, 2011
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Recently, on behalf of The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Making Connections initiative, I had the opportunity to visit Harrington Elementary School in Denver, Colorado. In one third-grade class, I was excited to see students using iPods to build literacy skills. And although teachers just started using the devices in the classroom, they are already starting to see progress.

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