Louisiana launches new literacy initiative across state

The Louisiana Department of Education has launched a new literacy initiative across the state, called, Louisiana Literacy, to help leaders, educators and families have access to practical tools and resources to use to help children learn how to read.

“Being able to read is a foundational goal in education and we must refocus efforts to support this basic need for students,” State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley said in a statement. “Unfortunately, more than half the students in our elementary and middle grades are reading below level in Louisiana. These new supports will give leaders, educators and families resources to help our students and state move forward.”

Only 40 percent of Louisiana kindergarteners, 42 percent of first graders, 48 percent of second graders and 50 percent of third graders are on or above grade level in literacy according to the statewide fall reading report– representing multiple years of literacy declines. Only 46 percent of students have mastered ELA content by the end of their third grade year.

School systems, schools and families can now access resources on the LDOE website that focus on early literacy and foundational skills. The Department is also developing tools for all grade levels.

Current online resources include:

  • Literacy goals, local literacy plans and a school system literacy roadmap
  • Facilitation of literacy Professional Learning Communities
  • Literacy implementation for leaders and teachers
  • Classroom libraries
  • Literacy schedules and classroom practices
  • Phonological awareness activity cards
  • Family literacy engagement strategic plan for schools and school systems
  • Literacy activities for families
  • Family literacy engagement survey sample

In addition to the online resources, the state is providing professional development customized to support specific schools, students and curriculum, it is also working with school systems to implement the program’s four foundational pillars. Louisiana has created “Literacy Pillars” to increase literacy outcomes when schools create and monitor literacy goals (although they are already doing this), provide high-quality core instruction with literacy interventions and extensions based on individual student needs, ongoing professional growth.

Literacy refers to the ability to read and write, and also includes other skills like spelling, speaking and comprehending. Strong literacy skills are needed to succeed in reading and understanding math problems, social studies and science lessons, and directions on any task or activity.

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