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Stories tagged: Theme articles

Resources for families: A Philadelphia literacy guide


Fabiola Cineas and Greg Windle

on Oct 8, 2015 01:22 PM

Dyslexia and learning disabilities


A daunting journey, but profoundly rewarding


Bill Hangley Jr.

on Oct 8, 2015 11:10 AM

Parents of struggling readers come from all walks of life, but they all have one thing in common.

That moment when they realized that something wasn’t quite right.

“He just wasn’t getting it – and I couldn’t figure out why,” said Erica Fields, a mental health caseworker from West Philadelphia.

All in – to support young readers


Dale Mezzacappa

on Oct 8, 2015 11:08 AM

Philadelphia has embarked on an ambitious campaign, called READ! by 4th, to ensure that all city students are able to read by the time they enter 4th grade, which numerous studies have shown is a make-or-break point for future success.

Students who reach this benchmark are more likely to do well in school and graduate. Students who don’t are more likely to tune out and drop out.

In this edition, we look at teaching reading in schools and at home and highlight where families can find resources.

What’s new: Classroom libraries and report cards


Dale Mezzacappa

on Oct 7, 2015 11:38 AM

This year, as part of a more focused approach to literacy instruction, many K-3 classrooms in District schools have new libraries. Students’ report cards will also look different.

Here is a brief guide to the classroom libraries and the new report card, from an interview with Diane Castelbuono, the District’s deputy chief for early childhood education.

In 40 schools, K-3 classrooms received extra funds from a grant to create “leveled libraries.” Books are sorted into bins, each with a letter indicating the reading level, progressing from A to Z.

How to judge the quality of pre-K programs


Dan Hardy

on Oct 7, 2015 09:49 AM

The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) has a well-regarded 10-point standard for high-quality programs. Publicly funded Keystone Star-3 and Star-4 pre-K programs meet at least seven of them, including having a comprehensive early learning curriculum, all lead teachers with at least a bachelor’s degree, continuing professional education, maximum class size of 20 and teacher-child ratio of at least 1 to 10, and on-site inspections at least every five years.

The cost of high quality


Dan Hardy

on Oct 7, 2015 09:50 AM

The benefits of high-quality pre-K can be great, but relatively few Pennsylvania children receive it. In 2013-14, less than half of 3- and 4-year-olds statewide attended licensed programs. Only about 31 percent were in high-quality pre-K.

For quality pre-K, look for more than the ABCs


Dan Hardy

on Oct 6, 2015 04:17 PM

Take a tour of Children’s Village, a highly regarded child-care center in Philadelphia’s Chinatown neighborhood, and some of the elements that make it a high-quality program are immediately evident.

In Room 303, a group of 3- and 4-year-olds is absorbed in a variety of activities, playing with toys, listening to recorded music and stories, or engaged in drawing, making and building things.

Q&A: Giving your child a good start


Dale Mezzacappa

on Oct 6, 2015 04:09 PM

The Notebook interviewed Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, who is a Temple University psychology professor, director of the Infant Language Laboratory, and author of several books about how children learn. She offered tips for parents of young children regarding daycare, preschool, and activities to do at home.

Notebook: What should I look for in a pre-K or child care center?

Hirsh-Pasek: The first thing I look for in a pre-K is, “Is it safe?” You want to make sure there aren’t things literally swept under rugs, things that are accessible that shouldn’t be, things that look dangerous.

Improved instruction is at the heart of literacy push


Connie Langland

on Oct 6, 2015 04:14 PM

The kindergartners are sitting cross-legged on a carpet doing their best to draw the letter F, the letter of the day at KIPP Philadelphia Elementary Academy (KPEA), a charter school in Strawberry Mansion. Each day, the children practice saying and writing a different letter.

“Okay, friends, hold your fa-fa-fabulous Fs up to me,” says their teacher, Lauren Holifield. “Oh, my goodness, fa-fa-fa-fantastic. … Now make your best lowercase f. Have fu-fu-fun with it.”

How to help children develop into readers


Connie Langland

on Oct 6, 2015 11:12 AM

Experts say that it’s never too early to start reading with your kids.

According to Reading Rockets, the national multimedia literacy initiative, parents of babies should snuggle up with them and read a book.

Read the latest print issue

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