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Early Literacy & Read to be Ready

Since 2008, ECS administrators and curriculum coaches have been taking a targeted approach to improving early literacy because of its proven influence on success in school and life. This has become a statewide initiative called Read to be Ready, which began in the 2016-17 school year.

2016-17 State Report: Read to Be Ready Coaching Network

The statewide early literacy initiative Read to be Ready began in the 2016-17 school year with the goal of 75 percent of students reading on grade level by 3rd grade by 2025. R2BR created a well-structured teacher coaching and support system and introduced activities like shared reading and literacy focus across subject areas. ECS teachers say it has been the missing piece in English Language Arts instruction.

ECS received a R2BR grant in 2017 and 2018 to host Camp-Read-A-Lot, which serves 30 students in the summer with rich, authentic literacy experiences, STEM activities, and themes like safari and space. A survey of the program found an increase in confidence and motivation as well as books read, minutes read, and texts to which students were exposed. In summer 2018, the new Betsy Book Bus will hit the road to deliver books to Elizabethton children and youth, which they can keep and add to their home libraries. This program was planned to further R2BR goals in partnership with the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation and community partners.


Timeline of ECS Early Literacy Initiatives

2008 Began system-wide RTI2, revamped literacy block
2008-2012 Shift to large and small group instruction, differentiated centers, guided reading groups, intervention for students performing below the 25th percentile
2008-2012 Teachers focus on understanding individual student needs and utilizing data to support them
Ongoing Professional Development on each portion of the literacy block
2012 Drastic reduction in students falling below 25th percentile in skills screenings
2012-2013 TCAP data didn't match skills screening progress. Inferential and analytical thinking not mastered.
2016-2017 Read to be Ready began. This was the missing piece. Teacher began the coaching cycle
2016-2017 Began interactive read alouds, shared reading modules
2016-2017 100% of K-3 teachers served by 4 reading coaches, a total of 30 teachers
Jan. 2017 One school reported less than 7% of students in regular education qualified for Tier 2 or 4, and none of these were in 4th or 5th grade.
May 2017 $5,000 mini-grant supports text set selection and professional development materials
June 2017 Read to be Ready Camp Read-A-Lot serves 30 academically at-risk students