Como-Pickton Consolidated Independent School District recently received word the district was selected to receive a Texas Literacy Initiative Grant of almost a quarter of a million dollars to expand district literacy programs.
The $241,500 program will target ds students enrolled in classes who need extra help bolstering their reading skills as well as expand the program to include children from birth through 12th grade.
“This is a big deal,” said C-P CISD Superintendent Sandra Billodeau. “We were one of only 30 school to get this grant.”
The school will be partner with the Footstep and Fingerprints day care at Elm Ridge Church to help prepare young students with the tools they will need to be successful upon entry into the school system.
The project targets literacy efforts, alignment and language. The day care serves as a “feeder school” for C-PCISD, where staff and parents will “get kids ready to come to school.”
The program will focus on three sets of students — English language learners, special education students and struggling readers.
A state liaison will be assigned to the district. A project facilitator from C-P CISD will act as coach and mentor, overseeing the program, including tracking data to see how students are performing and progressing throughout the year.
“A project manager will look at all of the data and work with reading teachers to devise a plan to help these students. I think having somebody with time to do just that will be a big help. I’m excited to see the help we can do with this,” Walden said.
At the day care, a literacy center will be set up, with a district staff member working half a day with the staff and students and generating parent input and involvement. The rest of the day, the the staff member will work at the main Como-Pickton campus in two literacy labs — one for elementary and one for secondary students. Bilingual students will be able to work in the literacy lab as well.
The district will use some of the grant money to purchase software and computers, including some laptops to use at the literacy lab.
At the literacy lab, bilingual education teachers can work with students who need extra help in reading English, while struggling readers who maybe did not do as well on reading and literacy tests than other classmates can be pulled aside by an aide for more intensive instruction. Special education students can also receive additional specialized instruction.
“I think this is going to be really good for the district,” Billodeau said. “When you help children at the day care, you help the district with future students. The younger they start learning and preparing, the better, the more successful they can be.”
District staff will participate in three days of training in Houston before the end of the school year, then travel for another session over the summer.
Among the partners supporting the initiative and program include a modeling liaison from Region VIII Education Service Center, the Institute of Public School Initiatives at the University of Texas-Austin, The University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston, and the Vaughn Gross Center for Reading and Language Arts at the University of Texas-Austin.
C-P CISD must also become a member of “project share,” an online professional development forum through Texas Education Agency that supports message boards and allows participants to network and sharing lesson skills and information This gives them more resources and makes them available for review and shared help at the click of a computer mouse.
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