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Friday, August 26, 2011
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  PTHS 209 Introduces Balanced Literacy Intervention Program to Help Boost Student Achievement  

Forest Park, IL...Proviso Township High Schools District 209 is kicking off the 2011-2012 school year with a focus on balanced literacy.

A focus on balanced literacy involves explicit, systematic, and completely thorough teaching of the skills required to read and write in a classroom environment. Balanced literacy incorporates the five foundation elements of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary development and comprehension, into an instructional framework. The teacher’s goal is to support the reading growth and development of students so that they are better readers and more independent learners.

“We must incorporate all of the approaches to teaching literacy,” said PTHS 209 Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Cheryl Pruitt. “Our balanced literacy intervention program provides numerous and varied literacy opportunities for all of our students.  The framework acknowledges that students do not all learn in the same way. It provides a meaningful and appropriate approach to instruction that supports a variety of learning styles. The balanced approach to literacy is not a curriculum. It is an instructional model. It is not what we teach, but how we teach.”

Each District 209 teacher is now working to increase literacy across the board by emphasizing reading, writing, and literature. They have been tasked to provide uninterrupted periods of successful reading every day, create a positive, reinforcing and cooperative environment in the classroom, set high but realistic expectations for all students, and thoroughly integrate reading and writing across the curriculum. Even in math and physical education classes, teachers are asked to incorporate literacy in order to strengthen students’ skills in that area.

The implementation of balanced literacy intervention is expected to give students the necessary framework to excel in the classroom, in testing environments, and at the college level.