School District 47 recognizes the importance of good reading and writing skills and has appointed a literacy coordinator.
Calico Clark said she works with and alongside elementary school teachers, both in a collaborative planning process, or making plans for reading and writing instruction. She also works in classrooms with teachers, either doing collaborative lesson teaching, or sometimes doing demo lessons with teachers, and she also works with groups of students.
“I work with any teachers who are interested in working together on reading and writing practices in their classrooms,” said Clark. “We are really just looking at focusing on students and student learning.”
Clark said she comes from a classroom teacher background and she has worked as a literacy coach in a previous job. She is currently working on a master’s degree with a passion for literacy – reading and writing in classrooms. The school district has officially designated the literacy coordinator’s job this school year but she has worked in the capacity of this role for three years.
Clark said literacy is one of the school district’s goals and is an ongoing goal for each of the schools.
“One of the things happening that is exciting in our district is that we are really looking at a comprehensive approach to our reading and writing instruction,” said Clark. “We are certainly looking at early literacy and foundational skills, but that is also balanced with mindfulness and really being aware that we want to have students who are engaged readers and writers who really have meaningful context.
“We have such great support from our teacher librarians, who are working to make sure the libraries are full of really diverse texts that represent kids and families and the world we live in. That becomes a rich centre and focus for literacy throughout the schools.”
Clark said good literacy practices begin in kindergarten and she added that there are amazing kindergarten teachers in this district.
“They are setting kids off to a great start with those early literacy skills,” said Clark. “It’s really about opening kids up to see that their words matter and that their voice is so important. We want to help them share their ideas and to participate in the world.
“Teachers are doing amazing work around writing instruction and giving kids their own voice. They are talking about the importance of writing and we’re highlighting that in classrooms.”
With next week (January 22 to 29) being Family Literacy Week, qathet region schools will be participating in a number of activities to recognize the importance of literacy. Clark said the school district is making a commitment to having students see themselves as readers and writers.