BATON ROUGE, La. — The Louisiana Department of Education launched an initiative today aimed at sparking a reading revival across the state. The new initiative, named Louisiana Literacy, provides system leaders, educators and families with practical tools and resources to support children on their literacy journey.
“Being able to read is a foundational goal in education and we must refocus efforts to support this basic need for students,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley. “Unfortunately, more than half the students in our elementary and middle grades are reading below level in Louisiana. These new supports will give leaders, educators and families resources to help our students and state move forward.”
The Department designed the statewide initiative to help ensure every child can read on grade level and graduate ready to succeed after high school. Only 40 percent of Louisiana kindergarteners, 42 percent of first graders, 48 percent of second graders and 50 percent of third graders are on or above grade level in literacy according to the statewide fall reading report. This represents multiple years of literacy declines. Further, only 46 percent of students have mastered ELA content by the end of their third grade year. Louisiana Literacy provides literacy supports for teachers, leaders and families that emphasize high-quality instruction and resources based on the science of reading.
School systems, schools and families can now access resources on the LDOE website. While this initial round of resources focuses on early literacy and foundational skills, the Department is developing tools for all grade levels.
Current online resources include:
Literacy goals, local literacy plans and a school system literacy roadmap
Facilitation of literacy Professional Learning Communities
Literacy implementation for leaders and teachers
Literacy schedules and classroom practices
Phonological awareness activity cards
Family literacy engagement strategic plan for schools and school systems
Literacy activities for families
Family literacy engagement survey sample
In addition to the online resources, the Department will provide professional development customized to support specific schools, students and curriculum. The Department is also working with school systems to implement the program’s four foundational pillars.
Louisiana’s Literacy Pillars are:
Student literacy outcomes will increase when schools create and monitor literacy goals.
Literacy outcomes will improve when students are provided high-quality core instruction together with explicit literacy interventions and extensions based on individual student needs.
Ongoing professional growth is an essential component of effective teaching and literacy development.
Families play an essential role in the literacy development of children at all ages and stages.
Louisiana Literacy is aligned with the Department’s priority to provide the highest quality teaching and learning environment from birth through graduation.
Literacy refers to the ability to read and write, but it includes many other skills including spelling, speaking and comprehending. Literacy is not just limited to English Language Arts classrooms. Strong literacy skills are needed to succeed in reading and understanding math problems, social studies and science lessons, and directions on any task or activity.