Literacy Begins With School District Program

logo-w-sunburstKayla Desroches/KMXT

An ongoing program in the school district works with teachers to help kids with basic literacy skills.

According to Kim Hanisch, director of instruction with the Kodiak Island Borough School District, the Kodiak School Board recently approved $33,000 to go towards professional development with literacy development company, Lindamood-Bell.

She says this year the borough is spending a little over $100,000 with the company and that the district began working with Lindamood-Bell four years ago, when they noticed gaps in students’ reading comprehension.

“As we started to look more closely at that data, we came up with the realization that comprehension scores at the upper levels, say grades 3, 5, 7 many of the reasons that they weren’t able to comprehend was because of the lack of these foundational skills.”

Hanisch says project leader and workshop presenter Deci Douroux spent two weeks in Kodiak working with K -2 teachers, showing them how to help students decode and visualize. Kids need to conquer those skills before moving forward.

Douroux says many words in English don’t follow the rules, and there’s no way to sound them out.

“So, they need to just picture the letters for the words. For example, the word enough doesn’t spell the way it sounds, right? It’s E-N-O-U-G-H, and I know that because I can picture that word in my mind. And the more we’re able to visualize words, the better and quicker we will be with decoding, spelling, and ultimately reading passages with fluency.”

Douroux says they’re also working on forming small, intensive groups for students who need extra help.

Edit 10/06: This article has been edited to include a new lede. The former one pointed towards only mode by which children learn to read and develop a love for books.

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