High schools celebrate arrival of Literacy Empowered resources  

All campuses receiving classroom libraries and other materials to support high school expansion of literacy initiative

Schools across HISD are celebrating the arrival of nearly 300,000 new books and other reading materials as part of the launch of Literacy Empowered, the high school expansion of the district’s comprehensive literacy initiative.

As part of Literacy Empowered, all high school English language arts and social studies teachers are receiving classroom libraries and each high school campus is receiving grade-level book club libraries (9-12) across an enormous variety of text types, themes, genres, and reading levels.

On Friday, Sept. 22, members of the Raider cheerleading squad and school ambassador program helped their teachers unpack the Literacy Empowered resources at Sterling High School. Principal Justin Fuentes thanked his students and staff and also thanked the district for the centralized support, resources, and tools to grow secondary students on his campus as readers, writers, listeners, speakers, and thinkers. 

“Hurricane Harvey may have delayed the shipment and arrival of these new resources to our high schools, but not the excitement of our students and staff,” said Secondary Curriculum Officer Annie Wolfe. “Principals, teachers and various other staff members helped to select these materials. It’s impactful to now see the students unpacking the books and getting excited about what they will have access to on a daily basis.”

Other schools across the district have their own “unpacking events” planned for later this week, including one at Madison High School that will feature a pep rally with the Houston Texans Cheerleaders. See below for more events.

  • Challenge ECHS: Wednesday, Sept. 27; 8:30 a.m.
  • Furr HS: Wednesday, Sept. 27; 10 a.m.
  • Liberty HS: Friday, Sept. 29; 1 p.m.
  • Madison HS: Friday, Sept. 29; 2:30 p.m.

In addition to the printed materials, all high school students will have access to a huge library of digital books. Collections include digital books in Spanish and digital audio books for students’ independent reading. Science classrooms will also have access to various magazines. Campuses will also receive reading comprehension toolkits and additional classroom libraries for ninth- and 10th-grade reading-intervention classes.

This arrival of the printed materials and access to online resources further supports the literacy training provided this past summer to all high school principals and high school teachers in core subjects. The literacy work is focused on three components — independent reading, writing in all content areas, and student discourse — in the courses all students take: English Language Arts, Science, Social Studies and Mathematics. This will ensure that all students are Global Graduates, prepared for both college and career.