Who We Are
The Literacy Coalition believes learning to read should be a right and an opportunity provided to all children. Members of the Literacy Coalition were part of the Advisory Committee for the Dyslexia and Literacy Early Screening and Intervention Pilot created by Act 69 of 2014 legislation. This legislation was created and supported by parents of children who did struggle to read because the foundational skills were not provided. The evidence base for reading has supported the acquisition of foundational reading skills and study of students with dyslexia. The successes and lessons learned are combined to create our program “Tools to Achieve Reading Success.”
Why Screening All Children Early is Important
Because children entering Kindergarten start with varying skill levels, it is important to identify and provide the necessary skills in the beginning of their academic career for success. Early intervention can prevent failure later in the child’s educational career. For some children, reading will not be difficult, but we know if taught the five components of reading success identified by the NRP, NELP, and the IES on Foundational and Comprehension Skills, all will benefit. Waiting to fail is not an appropriate option.
What makes a good
The National Reading Panel (NRP) was formed, tasked by Congress to review all available research and provide, with evidence, an analysis of the best methods for teaching reading. This resulted in the creation of the report, “Teaching Children to Read” (2000), which included the five areas of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. The National Early Literacy Panel (NELP) report "Developing Early Literacy" (2008) provided further evidence to support the identified areas along with the importance of oral language development. The Institute of Education Research (IES) practice guides “Improving reading comprehension in kindergarten through 3rd grade” (2010), and Foundational skills to support reading for understanding in kindergarten through 3rd grade (2016) along with The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) documents on Multisensory Structured Literacy (Structured Literacy) are used to support instruction and intervention.
Why Reading is Important
The development of strong reading skills is the foundational academic ability required for all learning in school and throughout adult life. Reading difficulties are the most common cause of academic failure and underachievement. Children who fall behind at an early age (K and grade 1) fall further and further behind over time. According to researchers at Yale, three-quarters of students who are poor readers at the end of third grade will continue to be poor readers in high school. For low-income children, reading readiness gaps fuel what later become achievement gaps, but we know children can learn to read and the vast majority of students can master foundational reading skills if taught appropriately using the evidence base.
The inability to read affects children socially as well and makes them “feel different” from their peers. When children have difficulty with reading, all academic learning suffers and may lead to behavior problems in later grades. Less than 40 percent of Pennsylvania’s public school 4th-grade students’ demonstrated proficiency on the 2015 NAEP1 assessment, and this percentage have remained virtually unchanged since 2011.