Leading the way with literacy
Over 100 early elementary teachers from Choice Schools Associates came together to kick off the school year on Thursday, August 22. The event focused on literacy and was a knowledge-filled professional development day of learning and growing for all in attendance.
This was the first annual professional development opportunity offered through Choice Schools Associates based around literacy. It was a brainchild that was conceptualized by Carrie Paddock, Curriculum and Literacy Specialist, and Kristin Molyneux, Curriculum & Instruction Specialist.
“With the final component of the Ready by Grade 3 law coming into effect, I wanted to do something that would create space and excitement around literacy,” Paddock said. “I want our teachers to be equipped with all the skills they need to build literacy education in our kids.”
“I do not want our teachers to live in fear. Our kiddos can read and we just wanted to provide an opportunity for teachers to learn how to enhance their skills as teachers to be better educators. Our role is to empower and partner with teachers so that they can be the best teachers possible,” Paddock said. “I hope that through this opportunity they were able to do this.”
The keynote speaker was Robert Pondiscio, a senior fellow and vice president for external affairs at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. He is an expert in why knowledge matters and believes that a knowledge-rich curriculum is essential to closing the reading and vocabulary gap.
“He was an engaging speaker and phenomenal to learn from. I enjoyed everything he had to say,” Jes Eldridge, head of school at Battle Creek Montessori Academy, said.
Other presenters for the day were Tatianna Brooks from EngagED, Liz Breed from Michigan eLibrary, Susan Lambert from Amplify and Carrie Pearson, author.
“We are excited about next year already!” Paddock said. “It took a lot of brainstorming and collaboration to get the best information here. We look forward to the challenge to raise the bar and continue to get the best next year as well.”