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Team Up for Literacy: Highlights from our year-end Intervisitation

Natalie Colón

Natalie Colón is a Senior Program Manager at ExpandED Schools.

ExpandED Schools recently hosted its final intervisitation of the school year at Renaissance School of the Arts (RSA) located in East Harlem. Among the many opportunities that are provided around capacity-building, trainings and professional development, intervisitations are uniquely designed to foster an environment where school leaders and CBO personnel can learn from one another, ask questions and observe best practices by visiting schools within our network. 

The theme of this visit focused on how schools and community partners work together to support literacy goals. Principal Bradley spoke of RSA’s partnership with Citizen Schools and how it offers students an expanded day that allows for more time to experience enrichments in literacy, the arts and physical activities, but also supports students within the school day, as well. Community educators from Citizen Schools facilitate book clubs during students’ strategic reading period, allowing tutors and teachers to work with smaller groups.

Gary Brown, Citizen Schools’ site director, discussed his work to support alignment of goals with the principal to ensure that proper instruction and a balanced full-day schedule are met. 

Participants were able to visit three 6th-grade strategic reading periods, including the groups being taught by the community educators who are trained through the MS ExTRA summer tutor literacy training. The different strategic reading periods (including book club) showcased collaborative work between teachers and the CBO staff. Students were involved in their reading, actively engaged with their teachers and with great excitement spoke with guests and answered their questions.

Rachel Roseberry, our Literacy Manager, led a session on how to infuse literacy into ongoing clubs and activities. Participants debated the definition of literacy and how it is currently part of students’ lives. They then explored strategies for supporting literacy throughout their programs such as pairing engaging texts and using writing journals. 

Overall, participants walked away with valuable information and new contacts in the field—an intervisitation success! 



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Reading proficiency by third grade is the most important predictor of high school graduation and career success. Yet two-thirds of this country's eighth graders can't read proficiently. Learn how we help.


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