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Were All in this Together: Establishing An Adolescent Literacy Program that Builds Community and Student Achievement Deborah Will, IMC Coordinator Zion-Benton.

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Presentation on theme: "Were All in this Together: Establishing An Adolescent Literacy Program that Builds Community and Student Achievement Deborah Will, IMC Coordinator Zion-Benton."— Presentation transcript:

1 Were All in this Together: Establishing An Adolescent Literacy Program that Builds Community and Student Achievement Deborah Will, IMC Coordinator Zion-Benton Township H.S. Tim Duggan, Assistant Professor of Education Northeastern Illinois University

2 Zion-Benton IMC: A Little History 33,000 books Average age: 1978 Book Budget: $1500 Reliance on garage sales for collection development Cataloging a nightmare

3 IMC Goals 2000 Behavior control Hire new staff Make the library the core of the school Renovate and restore

4 Similar Challenges that Classroom Teachers Face Tracking or the lack of tracking Re-writing curriculum Behavior issues School Improvement Planning AYP/ College Readiness Standards and Alignment Old books and no funding for new books, programs or field trips

5 It Takes a Village IMC clerical staff (Cheryl, Megan, Mark, Cathy, Sharon, Terri) English Teachers (especially Genevieve, Herb, Michelle, Steve, Lin, Corinne, Tara, Tiffany, Jen, Maggy, David, Mike, and Kelly) Special Education Teachers (especially Jenny, Arden, Melissa, Leslie, and Abby) Foreign Language Teachers (especially Leah, Michelle, Sue Ann, Mary, and Kellye) Business Ed Teachers (Cheryl, Katrina, Jerry and Jesse) Math Teachers (Sue, Paul, Lorie, Margare, Paul, Mike and Matt) Science Teachers (Karen, Larry, Alex and Sarah) Industrial Tech Teachers (Chief and Spence) Music Teachers (Alice and Mark) Art Teachers (Jay and Robyn) NJROTC Support (Steve, Dan and Kevin) Support Staff (Sacramento, Debilyn, Kathy, Suzi, Ruth, Anne) Administrative Support (Chris, Brian, Gail, Jack, Bobby, and all Deans throughout the ages especially Derrick) Union Support (thanks to Corrine and Kelly again!) Parent Support (especially volunteers like Trish and Chris) Community Organization Support (Kiwanis, Rotary, Coalition for Healthy Communities, CREW) Political Support (all city councilsZion, Beach Park, Winthrop Harbor. Zion Township Supervisor Cheri Ditzig and Benton Township Supervisor Jan Suthard) School Board SupportWe couldnt have asked for better board members who understand our mission Public Library Support (especially from Tara and Craig) Technology Team (Jason, Lee, Dave, Joe, JC, Marcus and al the Tech Crew team) Lake County Health Department (Liane, Jackie, Barbara, Sarah, Kris, Liz and Kim) Librarian Network (Jeanne, Varsha, Maggie, Sharon, Erin, Katie, Sheila) IATE Support (Jean, Jan, Amy, Claire, Gen, Herb, Larry, Tim, Simone, and the list goes on and on…)

6 Step 1: Identify Your Strengths/Assets Think positively what can you do that will focus students creatively on literacy projects and increase their use of school materials (research databases, library books, classroom materials)?

7 Foundation Gaining teacher/administrative trust Using what we had to the best of our ability Building community relationships Writing grants Developing community wide summer reading and recognizing culture change

8 Attitudinal Shift

9 Build Relationships 1-2 Years Periods of Initial Growth Years 3-5 Delayed Growth Year 6 Growth Begins Again Years 7-10

10 Step 2: Do the Research and Share it With Others You know what best practices are and you can write: put these two skills together, create a research brief and document why you want to make changes NCTE Principles of Adolescent Literacy Reform: A Policy Research Brief (2006) Create a 2 minute elevator speech and a slogan for your projected changes

11 Research Data driven decision making may be a buzz-phrase, but its what gets attention Shared the numbers with the administrative team and informed them that my budget attitude would be changing

12 Some Data I Shared The Illinois Study by Keith Curry Lance found that spending more on school library materials correlates to an 11.6% increase in reading scores on the ACT test. Overall, schools that spent more on their school library collections also saw a 6.7% increase in overall ACT scores.

13 A Bit More Data Goal: 10 Books Per Student 100/15=6.67% replacement percentage annually 10 books per student = 2561*10=25610 books $20*.0667*25610=$ Approximately $13.34 per student for print materials Increase of $8.79 per student for print materials $22, additional funds per year

14 Step 3: Rally Support Grants from the Illinois State Library and the Zion Reading Foundation See our website for grant links Parent Committee Homecoming Committee Private Donations

15 The Attitude Shift Begins Teachersgetting excited about the possibilities Studentsstarting to change the culture

16 Step 4: Train Teachers NCTE Pathways for Adolescent Literacy Training Pre-Service Teachers Department meetings rationale about special activities

17 The Misconceptions about Young Adults and YA Literature Teens dont like to read Teens dont care about reading Teens wont read, even if you assign it YA literature doesnt contain difficult vocabulary YA literature is simplistic YA literature is all the same

18 Graceling by Kristin Cashore In a world where some people are born with extreme and often- feared skills called Graces, Katsa struggles for redemption from her own horrifying Grace, the Grace of killing, and teams up with another young fighter to save their land from a corrupt king.

19 Deadline by Chris Crutcher Given the medical diagnosis of one year to live, high school senior Ben Wolf decides to fulfill his greatest fantasies, ponders his life's purpose and legacy, and converses through dreams with a spiritual guide known as "Hey- Soos.".

20 What Are Your Titles?

21 Important Understandings to Share With Your Community By embracing YA literature, you embrace the teens it represents By understanding the appeal of YA literature, you validate the teens reading it By validating teens and their reading preferences, you become partners in their literacy education rather than adversaries By allowing teens to be reflected in the literature they read, they no longer perceive themselves as monstrous (Junot Diaz)

22 Other Pieces of the Puzzle AYP is something we live withchoose a preparation program that fits with your schools culture Zion-Benton uses Learning Express Advantage, but there are other programs Use the data from pre-tests to inform how you approach projects in the future

23 Step 5: Implement Programs and Services Teamwork: Librarians, Teachers, Administrators, Parents, Teens all working together Feeder districtsworking on same goals Booktalks at every level Booktalks in classes OTHER than English Constant orders of new books Formation of a Youth Advisory Board that selects texts for students and helps create library policy Students begin reading daily Teachers embrace the reading and the test preparation

24 Student Achievement In 2002, 90.2% of our low income students did not meet standards in reading. In 2009, we reduced that number to 65.3%. Our poverty rate in the district has grown from 12% to 40%.

25 ACT Scores ACT Reading scores have increased from an average of 18.3 to an average of 20.6 (+6.3%) ACT Math scores have increased from an average of 17.7 to 20.5 (+7.7%) Freshmen showed 1.93 years growth from EXPLORE to PLAN in May 2010.

26 Community Results Our school library was voted as the most innovative library in the Northern Chicago Suburbs Our local Coalition for Healthy Communities placed literacy as one of its main goals and formed reading lunch partners in our elementary schools using volunteers from Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs on.aspx

27 New Problems Old Questions Do we have to read? Why do we have to read over the summer? So what? We dont have the money for that. New Questions When will the books come in? Can we check out extra books over the summer? How much money do we have left? Can we afford….

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