I learned this from a Terry Grier op-ed in the Chron.
That’s why last week’s release of the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation’s “Houston’s Literacy Crisis: A Blueprint for Community Action,” was such a welcome event.
The foundation’s plan to unite educators, government and community programs – plus human and financial capital – in a mission of wiping out illiteracy is just the kind of comprehensive approach required. We are proud to be partners in this effort.
While HISD remains committed to decentralization – and many of our schools are showing success in their respective reading programs – Literacy By 3 will be a district-driven initiative with unwavering, uniform standards and accountability. Starting this summer, a literacy leader will be trained for each HISD campus. We will employ phonics-based instruction, strict district measurements of reading levels and growth, and we will combine those with real-world projects.
At the same time, our movement toward a digital transformation of classrooms will allow teachers greater ability to personalize learning – and reading is a highly personal, developmental skill. Not one rigid method or time frame fits all, especially when you’re dealing with the challenges of multiple languages and poverty.
What is a uniformly proven asset, though, is exposure to libraries, books in the home and to people who read. That’s where you come in. We hope to create an awareness campaign that enlists thousands of volunteers who will show youngsters that reading is not only a basic survival skill, but a rewarding part of life. We will recruit community members to read with students one-on-one, to share their own favorite books and reading lists, to conduct and contribute to book drives to help enrich schools and homes.
See here and here for the background. At least now I know that there is some kind of official interaction between HISD and the Barbara Bush Foundation on this. I still haven’t found a copy of their report, but at least I know that much.