Educators—especially new teachers, teachers changing grade levels or alternatively certified teachers—can sometimes use a little help to do their best. A new Lone Star Literacy Institute established by United Way, eight school districts and Education Service Center Region 11 will develop and support teachers’ growth in teaching reading and writing this summer so that all of their students can read on or above grade level. It is expected to benefit 1,860 teachers (kindergarten through third grade) and 39,584 students in select schools.
Teachers will attend the Institute from the Crowley, Eagle Mountain-Saginaw, Everman, Fort Worth, Grapevine-Colleyville, Hurst-Euless-Bedford, Keller, and Northwest ISDs. The school districts are participants in a Regional Superintendents Collaborative organized by United Way. Teacher training will take place May through July.
The Institute will use a multi-faceted, systemic approach to increasing teacher knowledge and skills. Its “teacher-built curriculum” is unlike any other being offered in Texas. Educators will learn multiple best practices related to teaching comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, phonological awareness, phonics, and critical listening, speaking and writing. Training will be interactive and will employ a learning-by-doing model.
The Institute will include two days of initial face-to-face training followed by a face-to-face follow-up in the fall and online “mini-courses.” Ongoing support will be available through online resources and support groups. One-on-one “just in time” assistance will be available on request. Campus administrators also will receive the foundational literacy knowledge necessary for supervising and supporting early literacy teachers.