“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss
Reading is fundamental. In fact, it is one of the most important skills that a child can learn. Reading develops your brain and helps children do better in all subject areas. The Liberty Center School District recognizes this fact and has invested in a new reading curriculum this school year for grades 1-4 called the American Reading Co. (ARC). With ongoing professional development and consultation with an ARC executive coach, our teachers have implemented the ARC core curriculum, which consists of grade-level instruction, differentiated support, formative assessment and proficient writing skills. Collectively, this model not only meets the needs of students at their independent reading level, but also exposes them to grade level content and beyond. At the end of each of the four units, students complete rigorous writing projects that support and prepare them for writing at grade level and further. Most importantly, the curriculum is catered to helping and encouraging students to love reading and writing.
Last year, teachers and administrators worked with American Reading Co. to hand select the theme and genre unit studies for the curriculum. Each unit of study comes with highly engaging books that support reading and the writing focus of the unit. The book selections appeal to those reading below, at and above grade level. In addition to the units that contain leveled books, each classroom comes with a set of over 700 books at various reading levels for students to access at school.
This comprehensive literacy curriculum has already proven to be a wise investment. This year, we are already seeing great gains in our students’ reading and writing skills. The second unit of the curriculum is a research unit, and each of our students participated in independent research and writing. Students became experts on their researched topic and were eager to share their knowledge with parents, friends and other staff members.
Parents have shared they have noticed changes in their child’s opinion of reading and writing, and have been pleasantly surprised that their students want to read at night, and some kids are even doing this without prompting. Other parents have reported their child’s new-found love of writing, and are authoring their own books at home! It has been an exciting transformation for all of our students at the elementary level, and we are excited to see the continued growth of our students and the expansion of their love of reading and writing.
If parents ever have any questions about the ARC program, or any facet of our curriculum, we encourage them to get in touch with the classroom teacher or building principal. We’re more than happy to answer questions and give guidance on working with your children at home. These fundamental skills, when mastered in the early grades, will carry our students far in their academic careers and life. We’re investing in our students’ futures beyond the school walls. We want our Liberty Center students to go to amazing “places” on their journeys as lifelong learners!