Houston Mayor Annise Parker stopped by Blackshear Elementary on Monday to encourage students to keep reading over the summer.
“I happen to think the No. 1 reason to like to read is because it’s fun,” Parker said. “You can read about different places. You can read about things that are completely imaginary.”
Parker said teachers can tell which students read over the summer and which ones didn’t because reading skills tend to fall back when children don’t read.
Officials from Houston ISD and the Houston Public Library told students, many sporting Cat in the Hat hats, about their summer reading programs. Students can participate in both programs without having to read separate books — and can gain separate sets of incentives.
The Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation on Thursday unveiled a plan of action to boost literacy rates across people of all ages, and is partnering with the Houston Independent School District and other organizations to make literacy a top priority.
“We will not end the cycle of poverty until we end the cycle of low literacy,” said Bush Foundation President Julie Baker Finck in unveiling “Houston’s Literacy Crisis: A Blueprint for Community Action.”
“The blueprint’s purpose is to increase awareness of Houston’s prevalent literacy crisis, elevate literacy as a top priority, and mobilize the community into action,” she said.
The announcement follows the presentation of HISD’s comprehensive literacy plan – Literacy By 3 – to the Board of Education at a workshop last week. The plan engages students, teachers, parents, and community members around the goal of having every student reading with proficiency by Grade 3.
HISD’s chief academic officer unveils comprehensive literacy plan, to be implemented starting in 2014-2015
HISD’s Chief Academic Officer Daniel Gohl presented a comprehensive literacy plan to the Board of Education on Thursday. The plan, Literacy By 3, engages students, teachers, parents, and community members around a common goal: having every student reading with proficiency by Grade 3.
HISD will be reviewing and modifying the district’s literacy plan known as CLASS over the next several months and evaluating individual school programs for effectiveness.
“It really comes down to coherence at the district level,” said Chief Academic Officer Dan Gohl. “In math, there are very few programs and there is a great deal of coherence, so when a child moves from one school to another, they can quickly adapt. This is not true of our literacy programs.”
Nation’s Report Card shows gains in math across all student groups since 2003; reading scores unchanged from 2007 to 2013
The Houston Independent School District performed better than most large urban school districts in math, showing increases across all student groups compared to 2003, while reading scores remained unchanged, in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) report released Dec. 18, 2013 (http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/).
Houston ISD principals traditionally collaborate via email and at meetings, but today they’re chatting online and hope you will join the conversation.
The district’s first Twitter chat, which will be held from1:30 to 2:30 p.m., will focus on literacy.
You can be part of the conversation by following #HISDprincipal. We’ll offer a live feed on the district’s website. If you have a comment or question, chime in by logging into your Twitter account on your computer or mobile device, and send your Tweet with that same hashtag.
T.H. Rogers Middle School principal David Muzyka reads to students from the roof of his school
T.H. Rogers Middle School principal David Muzyka spent the entire day on the roof of his school reading to students in the courtyard below. Last year, BOOK IT! challenged every school principal in the country to “read your heart out” during National Young Readers Week. This year, the organization sent out a new Principal Challenge, and Muzyka accepted, braving gusty winds and an approaching blue norther, to show his students the value of reading aloud.
Grant to benefit more than 60 first grade classrooms libraries
The Houston Independent School District has received a significant donation from Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) to fund the THINK Literacy program at the Apollo 20 elementary schools in support of the district’s efforts to increase achievement in literacy. The grant will provide books for more than 60 first-grade classroom libraries at the 11 campuses on September 4.
Books Between Kids founders Amy Barnes & Sandra Ahlhorn with students from Kashmere Gardens ES
More than 12,000 HISD students will be starting off their summer vacation right—with an armload of books to take home, enjoy, and keep—thanks to two book-loving ladies and the non-profit they created last year to support literacy.
“Building home libraries, one summer at a time,” is the slogan of Books Between Kids, which Sandra Ahlhorn and Amy Barnes cofounded in 2012, and that is precisely what the longtime friends (and parents of HISD students) intend to do.
“What really provoked me was an op-ed piece I read in the newspaper that children were living in homes with no books,” explained Barnes. “And ‘no’ means ‘none.’ We both grew up in book-loving homes, so that just didn’t seem possible. Then Sandra heard a talk given by (HISD Superintendent) Terry Grier about the summer slide, and we both thought, ‘You know, we can do something about this.’”
HISD's Parent Engagement department says the reaction to the Parent Book Club has been so popular, they're looking at expanding the program to other schools.
In an effort to promote the importance of parental involvement and literacy simultaneously, the HISD Parent Engagement Department has launched a new Parent Book Club.
Nearly 30 parents attended the club’s first meeting on March 1 at Roosevelt Elementary eager to discuss the first chapters of the book How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk and participate in the group exercises. Continue reading →