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Parents invited to preview new elementary literacy resource

Student in libraryInto Reading logoElementary parents and guardians across the Cherry Creek School District are invited to an open house for a personal preview of the diverse text collection of Into Reading, a new literacy resource that will be rolled out at all elementary schools across the district during the next two school years. The open house will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 18 at the Instructional Support Facility, located at 5416 S. Riviera Way in Centennial.

“It’s exciting!” said Dr. Dominique Jones, Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Cherry Creek Schools. She explained that Into Reading is a research-based literacy resource that will help students become successful readers, writers and lifelong learners. “Students are going to have a consistent resource that is grounded in evidence-based practices called ‘the science of reading,’” she said.

Recent changes to the Colorado Reading to Ensure Academic Development Act or READ Act, originally passed by the Colorado Legislature in 2012, require all Colorado school districts to implement a state-approved literacy program by the beginning of the 2022-23 school year. CCSD formed a committee of educators, including teachers from all elementary grade levels, gifted and talented teachers and English Language Acquisition teachers, to evaluate two of the state-approved programs. They used a rigorous process to select Into Reading.

“We used a rubric that looked at lots of different components for each program,” Jones said. “That it’s student centered, supports culturally relevant education, provides authentic learning experiences and its utilization of standards-based instruction and assessment.”

Teacher and studentsThe committee recommended Into Reading because it will benefit students by helping them develop strong literacy skills from kindergarten on, and also because Into Reading supports teachers with myriad resources for meeting the needs of diverse learners. The program helps students build strong literacy skills as readers, writers and speakers. Those skills include phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, text analysis, comprehension, fluency and more.

With changes to the Colorado READ Act, all K-3 teachers have or will complete 45 hours of evidence-based training. Implementing Into Reading will leverage this evidence-based approach, with support provided by the many tools embedded into the resource. Kindergarten through second grade teachers will begin Into Reading professional learning this spring and begin implementation of the program in those grades this fall. Third- through fifth-grade teachers will receive professional learning next year, and the program will be rolled out in those grades during the 2023-24 school year.

“When you think about professional learning communities, that staff will be able to come together around a similar resource and share how they’re using it with their students and how it can improve their practice,” Jones said. “They can also share tips and tricks that teachers use when they put their magic in their teaching craft.”

Parents and guardians who would like to learn more about Into Reading can drop in at the open house anytime between 6-7 p.m. on Jan. 18. District experts and representatives of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the company that developed the program, will be on hand to explain the program and answer any questions.

Posted 1/10/2022.