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How We Spent Our Summer Vacation

August 16, 2019
Education | Literacy | Reading
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PROJECT HIGHLIGHT:  SUMMER INSTITUTE FOR LITERACY LEADERSHIP

The Summer Institute for Literacy Leadership (SILL) is an innovative initiative that integrates coursework and practicum experiences designed to support the development of structured literacy practices that are critical for addressing weaknesses in reading. Presented in partnership by HILL for Literacy, Crafting Minds, and The Grimes Reading Institute, SILL was sponsored by the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and hosted by the Somerville Public School District during Summer 2019.

For SILL, the work we normally deliver throughout the school year was adapted to a condensed, intensive setting that trained 20 teachers across 4 districts. With coaching from our institute staff, they taught 33 students in grades 1-5 over a 4-week period which resulted in impressive gains in reading skills in such a short time.

Student Highlight

 
One of the students in the summer program, Carlens, is about to enter 6th grade. At first, he refused to read for any of the teachers because he knew he couldn’t do it and was embarrassed. Over the next few weeks, he made great progress and by the end of the program he was very proud to read for everyone. Click the image to the left to watch the video!

The Cherry On Top

 
SILL also hosted a visit from the Massachusetts Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education. He was so impressed by the great work the students were doing, that he rewarded them with a special treat – an ice cream truck!

What Teachers Are Saying About SILL

I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be chosen to work in the SILL Program. Over the summer I was able to apply a new approach to teach reading with the help of coaches and co-teachers spanning several domains (SLP, Sped, Reading Specialists) and get immediate feedback and support to best meet the needs of my students. I was always concerned teaching over the summer would drain me, but in truth, teaching in this summer program gave me the energy, motivation, and direction to start the school year with my new group of students.

Kristin Howell

Title 1 Reading Specialist, Columbus Elementary School, Medford Public Schools

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