Who Can Teach Reading?
Kate Craig is TASC's Literacy Manager.
In many ways, we’re all teachers in whatever we say and do. It shouldn’t be up to English teachers and schools alone to grapple with our literacy crisis. Teaching artists, parents, community members—we’re all in the teaching and learning game, or should be.
In the New York City middle schools where TASC will coordinate MS ExTRA, teachers of art, science, even phys ed will integrate rigorous comprehension and vocabulary strategies into every part of the school day, as part of the Middle School Quality Initiative. In the expanded hours after 3, trained community educators and tutors will infuse the fun of book clubs and novel-reading into strategies to support students’ comprehension and reading independence.
Even high school students can teach. Recently TASC shared some advice with the New York Public Library on its new Literacy Development program for high school and younger students. Through the library, high school students will learn the theory of literacy development and concrete strategies to support developing readers. Then high school students will work with small groups of children at local library branches after school to teach these strategies and hopefully move the needle on the younger students’ literacy skills.
Based on TASC’s research and development for MS ExTRA and ExpandED Options, I was able to provide the library staff with examples of quality literacy curriculum, advice on tutoring strategies, plus information on how to coordinate this program with New York City high school graduation requirements.
I’m inspired to be a part of this cross-institutional, community-wide literacy effort and this cross-convergence of expanded learning opportunities among high school and younger kids.