Family Literacy Week
Foothills School Division strives to create rich literacy environments that begin with the needs of each learner. Our students are provided a strong varied system of supports that is enriched by a collaborative approach including staff, parents and the community to building a strong foundation in literacy and future success.
What does literacy programing look like in Foothills School Division?
Foothills School Division does not start with programs but rather with your child’s individual needs. We use key assessments that clearly assess pre-requisite and early reading skills that are essential in providing a strong foundation for reading. From those assessments, we provide instruction that is geared towards your child’s needs. Our schools use evidenced based, proven to be effective interventions to ensure that students who require additional time or support to achieve outcomes get what they need. One such intervention is Leveled Literacy Intervention. In its second year of implementation in Foothills, the results have shown gains in students’ skill and confidence in reading. It is very promising and exciting. Our schools also ensure students who come to school with strong literacy skills are also challenged. Through quality classroom instruction, our teachers design learning with your child’s strength, areas for growth and interests in mind to ensure they have strong foundation in literacy.
How does Foothills School Division use technology to support literacy?
In Foothills School Division, students develop the ability, confidence and willingness to engage with language: they acquire, construct, think critically, apply and communicate meaning. We recognize technology can support these language and literacy goals for all learners. Through interactive e-books and apps, our students are able to create and communicate their ideas in innovative and creative ways. Students also have access to technology which ensures every student is given the opportunity to access information and express their ideas and understanding of learning. For example, students with difficulties writing have access to text-to-speech apps. This allows them to express their ideas and thoughts effectively because the technology converts their speech to written format. Similarly, we challenge all students to become literate in digital sources by analyzing and thinking critically about internet sites, social media, blogs, and infographics.
What is my role as a parent or primary care giver?
Families play a key role in developing and nurturing literacy. Families can support a literacy rich environment by simply reading with their child each night; it is most important for children to develop a joy for reading. Having your child read to you, even if it is “pretend” reading, and talking about books will also support the development of language and vocabulary. The language encountered in books or articles is much different than the language encountered in spoken language or what we hear on television. With multiple exposures to written information and books your child can develop an awareness of print and reading before they even begin school. Ensure every opportunity around literacy is fun and enjoyable because this builds a strong foundation for your child to be successful in school.
Literacy remains of primary importance in Foothills School Division. Through collaborative partnerships, our students develop strong literacy skills, knowledge and understandings, which lay the foundation for continuous learning.
Written by: Loriann Salmon, Director of Inclusive Learning and Rebeca Forchuk, Director of Staff Development.