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NC superintendent announces new initiatives to address early literacy.

State Superintendent Mark Johnson announced new initiatives Monday to help improve early literacy in grades K-3, focusing on teacher needs and professional development.

The announcement was made at Cook Literacy Model School and coincided with the kickoff for Teacher Appreciation Week.

One of the new initiatives is professional development through the Hill Center, an education nonprofit based in Durham, and another is through Wolfpack WORKS, a partnership with the state and N.C. State University’s College of Education.

Johnson announced the first of the new initiatives to NC Read to Achieve back in March — $4.8 million statewide from the Department of Public Instruction.

This funding was distributed among the 24,000 K-3 teachers in the state for classroom materials aimed at improving student learning. Each classroom received $200, and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools received about $48,000 total.

“Today I am excited to announce the second new initiative for NC Read to Achieve, and that has to do with the concern I heard from teachers on the listening tour — and one also that I campaigned for, and that is high quality professional development with more readily available access for more teachers,” Johnson said.

Wolfpack WORKS, or Ways to Optimize Reading/Writing for Kids Statewide, will work with first-year teachers in grades K-2 in the “15 high-need districts” in the state this upcoming school year, according to a news release from DPI.

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is not included in those 15, said Graham Wilson, a spokesman for DPI.

Wolfpack WORKS will help these teachers learn how to implement reading instruction strategies in the classroom. It will also create professional development modules that K-2 teachers can use, which will focus on literacy.

Funding for Wolfpack WORKS comes from the state’s Read to Achieve early literacy program, according to the news release.

WS/FCS Superintendent Beverly Emory said she likes the support strategy for first-year teachers

“I’m also grateful that even if you’re not a district that is in this small group, that if the modules are available then maybe we as a district can look at how can we arrange some coaching and support around those modules locally to sort of mirror what they’re trying,” she said.

NC Superintendent
Mark Johnson

301 N. Wilmington Street

Raleigh, NC 27601

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© 2018 NC Superintendent Mark Johnson