The Literacy Alliance of the Shuswap (LASS) received good news when Enderby & District Financial Community Endowment Fund’s First West Foundation awarded it a one-time grant of $4646, to be used to fund a small group literacy support program at MV Beattie Elementary School in Enderby.
The program targets students who are reading significantly below grade level in grades one to four and who are not receiving additional support at school already. Small groups of two or three students reading at approximately the same level will be supported by a Certified Education Assistant (CEA). The CEA will receive specific training from a reading support teacher. The groups will meet for forty minutes four times a week over ten weeks. The program hopes to support up to 18 children over the 2016-17 school year.
The purpose of this program is to narrow the gap for struggling readers and get them reading as close as possible to grade level by doubling the amount of reading time they receive during school hours each week. By providing the support within regular school hours, this innovative program overcomes barriers faced by past after school reading support programs which were inaccessible to Enderby students who used school busses or had other after school commitments.
LASS is partnering with School District #83 to pilot this program at MV Beattie. The School District partnership is essential to LASS in supporting children’s literacy needs as schools are often where literacy needs are first identified. Working together, pooling resources and jointly providing struggling readers with specialized and individual instruction provides more opportunity for overcoming reading challenges at MV Beattie.
This is important. Research shows that early support for struggling readers can significantly improve not just school performance but can set the students up for success for the rest of their lives.