Update on the Early Grade Literacy Outcome Team

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Children who read proficiently by the end of 3rd grade are far more likely to stay on track and graduate on time. That is why early grade literacy continues to be a priority for us. In partnership with the Rochester City School District, Rochester Public Library and the City of Rochester, the Early Grade Literacy Outcomes Team engaged in a four-step process that included review of data and goal setting, identification and validation of relevant factors, and identification of strategies that help children improve their literacy.

The community reading project developed from that process supports RCSD’s work on reading instruction by providing equity in access to quality reading materials, strengthening the home literacy environment and engages the community in promoting and valuing literacy. Three schools have been identified as pilot sites for the literacy project that will help students in grades K-3 become better readers and strengthen classroom connections and enhance literacy at home.

The following strategies are being offered to the 3 schools:

ReadyRosie is free mobile app to help parents use videos to help children learn in everyday environments – such as the grocery store, playground, or RTS bus.

MyOn provides children with access to digital books, tracks their reading, and introduces children to higher level books as their reading skills progress.

The Home Library is a child’s very own book case, lamp, and rug with culturally relevant and age appropriate books to read at home with a peer or trusted adult.

Research shows in addition to formal reading instruction in school, reading skills are supported by stimulating language and home literacy environments that help to develop the oral language and coding skills. The number of children’s books in the home is associated with more parent-child book reading and stronger language skills. Shared book reading has been found to have positive links to language development, literacy skills, and cognitive skills in infancy through early grades.

Data shows that third grade ELA proficiency has held almost steady at 18% proficient on the NYS assessment (compared with 17% last year).

It is our hope that these strategies will help raise the literacy levels of students in these schools, by focusing on children’s success together.