Columbus City Schools has received a $1.4 million grant to develop two comprehensive model literacy sites offering early childhood education programs for Pre-K students and K-5th graders. The sites will focus on implementing practices consistent with our revised Elementary Literacy Framework that aligns with Ohio's Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement.
That focus includes ensuring all beginning readers know how to decode and recognize words accurately, independently, and automatically. Teachers will also work with students to build background knowledge, build vocabulary, verbal reasoning, and understand language structures.
The grant will provide materials and resources to support systematic and explicit phonics instruction, the creation of grade-level classroom libraries, and intervention support. Ongoing professional learning and coaching are also supported through this award. The strong partnership between the model sites and the Ohio Department of Education will provide direct and targeted support to foster our educators' increased capacity and allow early childhood education programs, districts, schools, and families to improve student literacy and increase educational options available to traditionally underserved students.
Leslie Kelly, Director of Elementary Education at Columbus City Schools, shared that Easthaven Elementary and Windsor STEM Academy have been identified as participating in the Comprehensive Literacy State Development Grant and committed to becoming model literacy sites.
"Both Easthaven and Windsor embraced this opportunity," said Ms. Kelly.
The goal is to develop these two elementary schools into literacy sites where children grow and achieve and be models for other schools and districts to learn from and emulate.
Columbus City Schools is committed to ensuring that all our students have an opportunity to reach their full potential. Over the next four years, our model sites will work with literacy experts to implement our new literacy framework, best practices in phonemic awareness and phonics instruction, vocabulary development, and language comprehension. Students will receive resources to support literacy instruction at home and in the classroom. The learning derived from this opportunity will be shared throughout our District as we continue to move our District forward.