Striving Readers Grant Update
Supporting early readers at home by providing tools for parents is an ongoing part of the Striving Readers Grant, which is in its final year. Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center initially received the $1.2 million Striving Readers Grant (SRG) in 2018 and has continued to provide evidence-based language and literacy teaching and learning for all learners from birth through grade 12. Three of the five initial participating districts remain in the grant’s final year: Buckeye Central, Highland and Plymouth.
Aligned to Ohio’s comprehensive literacy plan, Mid-Ohio’s SRG Team has been working to promote proficiency in reading, writing and communication for all learners, driven by scientific research. The grant assists districts in their existing efforts to implement data-based, differentiated and evidence-based practices in literacy.
Working with consultant Lisa Riegel from the Educational Partnerships Institute, the participating districts are provided with communication pieces to support teachers and parents as children become readers.
Each month districts receive materials to share via posts on websites or social media from the schools or district, parent newsletters, teacher newsletters, emails, parent/teacher conferences both in-person and virtually. These activities give parents effective ways to engage their children in fun and meaningful literacy experiences designed to broaden their understanding of oral language and the written word.
Samples ideas that were shared this fall include:
- October - Ask your child to find letters from A to Z on street signs, restaurant names or other signs. Or you can challenge your child to sound out unfamiliar words on signs.
- November - Pre-Readers: Have your child select three sweet items from your kitchen and look for five letter matches. For example, they may find an M in Marshmallows and an M in toMato soup. Early Readers: Have your child find three items in your pantry that have sugar listed as an ingredient.
- December - Make a letter book. For each letter of your last name, ask your child to draw a picture that has a person, object or activity that starts with that letter. Help your child write the words to describe the pictures and give the pictures as holiday gifts.
As the grant nears its end, Mid-Ohio ESC has put tools into place to continue support for the participating districts. Earlier this year the SRG Team at Mid-Ohio developed an online literacy lab using Google Classroom, which houses book studies and their companion resources (podcasts, videos, webinars, articles etc.) in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. This virtual format has allowed the SRG Team work to further impact districts’ literacy initiatives when in-person education is unable to happen due to health conditions in the area as the year has progressed. The lab will be accessible after the completion of the grant allowing important work to move forward in the participating districts.