Literacy

Children must learn to read – because for the rest of their lives, they will read to learn.

DPS Foundation funds innovative literacy strategies for students of all ages to ensure every child is reading at grade level and prepared to be a lifelong learner. By supporting the DPS Foundation you will be helping to fund programs such as Each One Teach One and Leveled Literacy Intervention. These literacy programs allow children to build the confidence and skills they need to become strong readers and future leaders.

Research shows that by age four, a child living in poverty could have heard 32 million fewer words than a classmate from a middle class family. Furthermore, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, children who do not read proficiently by the end of third grade are four times more likely to leave school without a diploma than proficient readers.

The Need for Literacy Programs in DPS

  • 40% of third graders are not reading at grade level
  • Low literacy levels show a strong correlation with poverty, crime and unemployment.

Each One Teach One (EOTO):

EOTO StudentEOTO provides intensive, small-group language development instruction and gives students the building blocks to be successful learners. Every day over the course of nine-week sessions, EOTO students gather for 25-45 minutes to engage in vigorous conversations, inspired by a richly-illustrated book, to build their vocabulary as they are encouraged to observe, label and describe what they see. Students proudly wear the new words they learn, their “Keys to the Future,” on lanyards around their necks. These keys serve as learning aids, conversation starters and public symbols of achievement. This model is further supported by engaging parents and families to create home environments that are more conducive to and supportive of learning, so that at-home time can reinforce what is being learned at school. EOTO engages multiple generations of families to become empowered and passionate learners, teachers and advocates. Family engagement is at the core of EOTO, which seeks to foster a love of learning and a sense of academic and collective efficacy that learning and achievement are attainable for all.

What Your Support Will Do

  • Last year, over 5,500 hours of EOTO small group instruction was provided to DPS students. Of that, over 3,420 hours were devoted by community members and student volunteers.
  • On average 25.8 hours of EOTO small group instruction received by each student was taught in Spanish.
  • EOTO 1st graders are 2.6 times more likely to be reading at grade level than their peers.

“EOTO is doing the job that needs to be done; these children are learning and understanding the skills they need to become our future leaders.”
– Marie Greenwood, DPS Teacher from 1935 to 1974

Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI)

Leveled Literacy Intervention system, published by Fountas and Pinnell, is a supplementary literacy intervention program designed to help teachers provide powerful, daily, small-group instruction for the lowest achieving students at their grade level. Through systematically designed lessons and original, engaging leveled books, LLI supports learning in both reading and writing, helps students expand their knowledge of language and words and how they work. The goal of LLI is to help students become more proficient in reading.LLI Student Reading

Using this pedagogical base as a model, teachers in DPS have developed and implemented Intervencion Lecto-escrito (ILe). ILe was developed to support Spanish speaking beginning readers. Unlike their English speaking peers, students who were learning to read in Spanish and experiencing problems had no program of support until ILe was implemented. LLI and ILe lessons include reading books aloud, playing word games, sounding out syllables, spelling words, finding words that rhyme, and writing sentences. The programs serve those students who need targeted or intensive support to achieve grade-level competency and are typically the lowest achieving in the classroom based on benchmarks and testing.

What Your Support Will Do

  • Private funding allows the DPS Foundation to purchase LLI kits; each LLI kit includes a collection of brand new, carefully leveled books to provide enough support and a small amount of challenge so the reader can learn with confidence and make small steps toward grade-level goals.
  • Each day, students receive a paperback book to build their own library at home. This is the bulk of the expense as each kit contains an estimated 100 books to be sent home with students.
  • Also included are teacher guides and lesson plans as well as student writing books, take home bags and professional development DVDs.
  • DPS kindergarten students who participated in LLI or ILe significantly outperformed their peers after participating in the 12-week intervention program. Starting below “Level A” LLI/ ILe students progressed to a “Level C” (which is the end of year goal) while peers ended at “Level B”.

“I have seen how a strong tool like LLI can make a profound difference in teaching. With LLI, the focus is on expanding teacher expertise about how children acquire literacy. The tools do not teach, they assist the teacher in teaching more efficiently and effectively. When teachers discover or rediscover the power of responsive, data-driven instruction, they see how to create those opportunities for students.”
– Ann Christensen, LLI Professional Development and Coaching Provider in DPS

Make it possible for all students to read at grade level. Click here to make a secure, online donation today!

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