Nichols Elementary School Reading Recovery/Read to Achieve teacher Heather Brewer Allen has been awarded a $1,000 grant to attend the 2018 Reading Recovery Council of North America K-6 National Literacy Conference Feb. 17-20 in Columbus, OH.
“Our school is striving to address all five components of literacy through guided reading groups,” Allen wrote in her grant application. “Guided writing is also a focus, as it is an integral part of guided reading. I will bring back strategies and ideas for guided writing and the five components of literacy that will tie directly into our school’s literacy focus.”
Allen also desires to find new ways of collaborating with classroom teachers that will help accelerate student literacy achievement and build instructional capacity across the school.
“I want to learn new ways of analyzing student reading and writing behaviors to better guide my instruction,” she said.
Grant requirements include sharing national conference input with colleagues. Allen will create a teacher pre-survey for a spring Planning Day (PD) which will assess knowledge of strategies for comprehension and guided writing.
“The pre-survey will also ask for their needs in regard to topics,” Allen explained. “After the spring PD, I will model during co-teaching blocks and address questions and concerns during Professional Learning Community (PLC) meetings.”
During a May 2018 Nichols faculty meeting, she will give a post-survey to assess teachers’ growth in understanding strategies for comprehension and guided writing.
“Teachers will reflect on their growth and needs. School curriculum coaches will analyze pre-and-post surveys so we can establish goals for the 2018-2019 school year,” she said.
Allen has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Louisville; a Master of Arts in Teaching - Elementary Education from Bellarmine University; and Reading Recovery certification from the University of Kentucky.
Nichols Elementary School is a Title I school serving approximately 136 Pre-K-5 students. Due to its small size, all funds based on enrollment numbers (Title 1, PD, SBDM) are traditionally low.
Nichols Elementary School is also a recipient of Kentucky’s Read to Achieve (RTA) Grant. ??????????This grant program is a competitive program that provides funds to schools to implement research-based reading diagnostic and intervention programs.
More specifically, the KY RTA program was designed to identify and provide intensive reading and intervention programs to struggling readers within primary grades (K-3). Nichols implements Reading Recovery (1st grade) and Comprehensive Intervention Model (K-3) with students performing below the 25%tile in reading. Mrs. Allen serves as Nichols’ Reading Interventionist.
Reading Recovery is a highly effective short-term intervention of one-to-one tutoring for low-achieving first graders. The intervention is most effective when it is available to all students who need it and is used as a supplement to good classroom teaching. It serves the lowest-achieving first graders: students who are not catching on to the complex set of concepts that make reading and writing possible.
Individual students receive a half-hour lesson each school day for 12 to 20 weeks with a specially trained Reading Recovery teacher. As soon as students can meet grade-level expectations and demonstrate that they can continue to work independently in the classroom, their lessons are discontinued, and new students begin individual instruction.