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Student Achievement - Literacy for ALL

The statistic is significant to each child, and family of each child, who fell into the 61% majority of underperforming students because once students enter fourth grade, they are expected to be able to learn information from reading and are no longer learning how to read. There begins the third grade literacy deficit's compounding interest which grows larger with every passing year. For example, according to publicly-accessible HCSD reported data, 8% of 2022 of HCSD seniors (who did not attend a collegiate academy graduated reading on grade level. A student's level of literacy and numeracy upon graduation strongly determines the future educational and economic opportunities available to them.

Nationwide literacy rates have spiraled downward in the decades since the education industry embraced the concept of teaching young children to read by memorizing words (sight words) and guessing words they didn't know or remember based on the context of the other words or pictures (cueing) instead of teaching them that each letter makes a sound and that if one can remember the sounds each letter makes, they can decode (sound out) almost any word. The better a student is at decoding, the more fluently the student reads. The more fluently the student reads, the better their comprehension. Being able to decode words provides the necessary foundation to learn to encode (spell) words which is the foundation of writing. 

I have long championed HCSD administration to acknowledge and respond to District literacy rates and will continue to encourage the investment of federal tax dollars intended to close achievement gaps for Hendry County students be spent to develop and implement a framework for all PreK - third grade teachers, reading teachers, literacy coaches, and paraprofessionals working in small groups, with English language learner students, and students with IEPs/504s to receive ongoing and compensated training in direct, systematic, multi-sensory instructional reading instruction based on the Science of Reading, in addition to on-site implementation support.  

Students want to be successful. Teachers want to empower student success. Let's give them the right training, resources, and support to make it happen! Our students are worth the effort. 

Paid for by Stephanie Busin for Hendry County School Board, District 4
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