Lesson learned this week comes from a profound childhood memory having to do with “literacy.” Upon my word, I am literate because my mother read to me as a very young child. Primarily she read from the 14 volumes of “Childcraft Encyclopedia.” I loved the illustrations and the nursery rhymes the most. Not only did she read to me, but to all four of my sisters who kept joining our family. Of course, I listened in to the stories and poems again and again. I probably had Volume One memorized simply due to repetition. My, my!
The term “literacy” is universally understood as the ability to effectively decode, encode, and use receptive and expressive language to connect with others and the world in a meaningful way.
Our Upshur County Schools Board of Education received notice at our April 13th public meeting that we are to be blessed with a transformative system of support. Our students are going to get special treatment from the West Virginia Department of Education and Marshall University. Our schools soon will have the benefit of expanding the Early Literacy Network of Support for early literacy.
We are getting the equivalence of my school teacher, storytelling reading Mother who made all the difference in my life.
May 9, 2021 is Mother’s Day. President Abraham Lincoln is widely quoted to have said: “All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my mother!” I heartily agree, since my mother passionately made me literate.
With regard to literacy, in order for our students to be truly proficient, they must explicitly learn reading skills. I received my chance; now our students will get extra attention that will make a difference. The focus areas that comprise literacy are called the “Fab Five Plus”:
Phonics (using the West Virginia phonics lessons for reading interventions)
Comprehension (and building knowledge through the development and use of text sets)
Writing (using Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) for writing instruction)
Our BOE welcomes this new teaching and learning opportunity with our hybrid Instructional Support Specialist shared with the WV Department of Education and Marshall University. We anticipate improved performances, furthering our mission for our students to be Upshur Strong, lifelong learners.