What is Literacy?

According to Merriam-Webster it is the quality or state of being literate; literate means to able to read and write.  Literacy encompasses everything related to reading and writing.  Literacy is the lifelong process of gaining meaning from an interpretation of written or printed text. Literacy skills include handwriting, phonics, decoding words, reading, and writing. 

As the Day School Literacy Specialist, my goal is to lay the foundation for children to be lifelong learners.  I want to ensure each child receives guidance for developing skills which will make him/her a better reader and writer.  Through close communication with the classroom teacher, we determine the strengths and needs of each child. In our weekly sessions, I work with the PreK 4 and Kindergarten students, individually or in small groups.   Together we practice skills at each student’s ability level. For example, if a child is learning letter names and sounds, we practice letters and sounds.  If a child is reading, I work on challenging him/her to the next level. Each student works on activities based on his or her ability.

Children work together using fun and interactive materials.  The children enjoy puzzles, toys, games, dry erase boards, magnets and activity centers to practice skills.  Beginner books are introduced to emergent readers, we progress to more difficult books as skills develop. Advanced readers practice fluency, comprehension and story writing.

What can you do to enhance your child’s reading skills?  First, remember to make it fun!  For beginners, practice letters and letter sounds.  Look for letters in the environment, on signs, on food boxes, look in books and print. Enjoy alphabet puzzles, paper and crayons, chalk on the sidewalk. With your emerging reader, step up to the next skill level by having your child sound out words. Look for sight words in the environment and print, practice simple consonant-vowel-consonant words (cvc words).  There are wonderful resources on the internet and in our local teacher stores.  Continue reading aloud to your child. 

You are the greatest teacher your child has!  Please let me know if I can be of any help to you.

Stephanie Johnson-Martin
sjohnson-martin@hppds.org