School literacy team instills love of reading

SALT LAKE CITY — Saint Vincent de Paul School enhanced its literacy program this school year with a newly established literacy team. The team is comprised of a reading specialist, classroom teachers, volunteers and paraprofessionals who use a three-tiered model to provide various levels of support and intervention for the students.
“The goal of literacy team is to produce successful, confident, on-level readers instilled with the love of literacy,” said Kerry Hankins, student support teacher at Saint Vincent de Paul School. “We focus on the key components of phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension of the readers. Students are screened three times each year to determine if supplemental reading instruction or intervention is needed.”
At the Tier 1 level, the literacy team creates reading centers while interacting with all students within the classroom setting. Focusing on word study programs during classroom instruction, the team teaches students how to recognize patterns and rules in the English language. This supports the students in their reading and spelling.
For Tier 2 interventions, small groups meet with the literacy team outside of the classroom to work on strategic interventions tailored to their specific literacy needs. These students are often working in guided reading groups, focusing on vocabulary building and higher level comprehension skills.
Finally, the team provides Tier 3 interventions for individual students who are struggling with reading and have demonstrated need for intensive intervention. These students receive specific, systematic reading instruction multiple times per week. Individual support plans are created for each student, with the ultimate goal of ensuring the student is on track to become a grade level reader. The literacy team uses methods aimed to improve the students’ reading accuracy and fluency, and they consistently use progress monitoring tools to monitor students’ growth and re-evaluate the intervention if deemed necessary.
The literacy team also works alongside the classroom teachers to integrate research-based instructional reading strategies and methods into their daily instruction.  Team instructors are Kerry Hankins, Alicia Sloan, Tiffany Bonner, Kim Snarr, Giselle Airreiss and Rose Cabana.
Photo and article courtesy of Saint Vincent de Paul  School