'We are proud and excited that Literacy First continues to close the achievement gap at Lanier Elementary School.' -Stuart Udell, Catapult Learning CEO
Camden, NJ (PRWEB) May 20, 2014
Every third grade student at Lanier Elementary School of Tulsa, Oklahoma, passed the state reading test this year, Lanier’s principal Robert Morris announced last week. Morris cited Literacy First, Catapult Learning’s nationally proven three-year instructional framework, as a key factor in the success of his economically and ethnically diverse student population. Literacy First focuses on the teaching and learning processes of reading and comprehension while building a strong culture of literacy throughout the entire school.
“It was some of the best training we've ever had,” said Morris in an interview with KJRH television news reporter Patricia Santos. The Literacy First framework was funded at Lanier by a grant that was later cut from the Oklahoma state budget in 2008. Principal Morris still sends teachers to the professional development training. “It's worth every penny and more,” said Morris. “I couldn't put a dollar value on it.”
Since implementing the Literacy First framework, Lanier has seen an improvement on Oklahoma Core Curriculum Test (OCCT) scores. The percentage of Lanier’s third graders who scored satisfactory or above in reading gradually rose from 72% in 2010-11 to 83% in 2012-13 before reaching 100% in the 2013-14 school year. The program also led to positive gains in math, where third grade scores increased from 64% proficiency in 2010-11 to 83% in 2012-13. Lanier Elementary School's highly diverse student population is comprised of over 50% Hispanic, African Americans, and American Indian students. Almost 20% have IEPs and 65% qualify for free or reduced lunch.
“Millions of children, particularly those from low-income families, reach the fourth grade without having attained the literacy skills they need in order to thrive in middle school and beyond,” said Stuart Udell, CEO of Catapult Learning LLC, the nation’s largest provider of instructional intervention services and professional development solutions. “We are proud and excited that Literacy First continues to close the achievement gap at Lanier Elementary School,” added Udell.
Kathy Nowlin, former Literacy Resource Specialist for the Lanier program, explained that they used diagnostic assessment and differentiated instruction to drive the process. “You teach the specific skills that are needed for each child to advance, instead of teaching the whole class.” Based on systematic and explicit instruction in the processes of reading and comprehension, The Literacy First framework is currently being used in eight Title I Tulsa Public Schools as well as hundreds of other elementary, middle and high schools across the county.
About Catapult Learning: For over 35 years, Catapult Learning has been dedicated to improving academic achievement for students from pre-K to grade 12, with a special focus on struggling learners, response to intervention, and extended learning time. Catapult Learning’s nationwide network of 4,000 teachers, coaches, and specialized services providers partners with over 250 school districts across the country. http://www.catapultlearning.com.