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'We want to start at the foundation,' Central Texas school district going back to the basics to promote literacy

Posted at 10:37 PM, Sep 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-09 03:26:49-04

Wednesday is International Literacy Day.

Across the globe, millions of kids and young adults lack basic literacy skills. Today shines a light on programs and initiatives working to close that gap.

In Copperas Cove ISD, they are going back to the basics and returning to teaching the foundation of words - phonics. This initiative started back last school year, with instructors like Dr. Tonya Sweeney a CCISD District Literacy Coach, working directly with teachers to shift their teaching styles.

"We made our shift in the district to follow the sciences," said Sweeny. "It’s been a mind shift but the teachers have been very receptive to the change into the realignment because they’re seeing the difference in their students."

A shift that paid off for students like Janell Aldridge who is a fifth-grader in CCISD reading well above her grade level. Aldridge said she has had help from her teachers and reads often.

"She helped me read chapter books with hard words in them [like] Harry Potter," Aldridge said.

Aldridge is already looking to the future.

"So I can get a job and I can get money, if I don’t know how to read how am I supposed to fill out an application so I can get the job?" said Aldridge.

Dr. Sweeney said, "She understands that being a good reader is something that’s going to take her beyond school, so that’s extremely exciting."

The district is working year-round to improve literacy rates, on a foundation of excellence for future success.