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Literacy Component Research

21C recently received support from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and UPS to establish a Language and Literacy Component for the School of the 21st Century program.

As is the case with schools around the country, 21C educators are interested in helping students become better readers. Many have come to us for help and this gave impetus to our establishing the Language and Literacy Component.

We began by working on language and literacy in early childhood and the primary grades. However, we soon expanded this effort to include language and literacy in middle childhood, an area that has not, to date, received much attention. Although our work focuses on 21C schools, we expect that the 21C Language and Literacy Componentwill be of interest to educators in other schools. We will explore ways to make the component accessible to a broader audience.

Since language development and literacy strategies differ as children develop, our efforts on early literacy and middle childhood literacy are separate, but both share common goals:

  1. To assure that 21C school leaders make informed choices about the type of language and literacy programs that they select .
  2. To help 21C educators implement language and literacy programs effectively and efficiently; and
  3. To assist 21C educators as they enhance parents' involvement in promoting children's language and literacy skills.

Two separate National Panels of Advisers were convened to guide us in our work. The Panels’ tasks are to recommend and discuss criteria for the selection of language and literacy curricula and other instructional and resource materials, and to suggest curricula strategies and materials for more in-depth review. The criteria and recommended materials will inform the development of descriptive and program databases and training guides that we are developing.

The National Panel of Advisers:

Early Literacy

Shelby Miller served as an initial Project Director for the Early Literacy Project. She was also a member of the Early Literacy National Panel of Advisors. In addition to 21C's own Matia Finn-Stevenson, other members are:

Heather Callister
Abell Foundation

Sunday Taylor
Consultant on Literacy
Michael Levine
Executive Director
Asia Society
Norma Meek
Educational Support Coordinator
Summit Elementary
Patty Schumacher
21C Senior Associate

Sheila Smith
Research Scientist
New York University

Sheila Sussman
Consultant
Literacy, Inc.

Mary Jennings
Principal
Hart Magnet School

Middle School Literacy

Michelle Albright is Project Director for the Middle Childhood Literacy effort and a member of the Middle Childhood National Panel of Advisors. In addition to 21C's own Matia Finn-Stevenson, other members are:

Lyn Hogan
21C Senior Associate

Ron Fairchild
Center for Summer Learning
John Hopkins University
Jim Hinson
Superintendent
Independence District
Elizabeth Birr Moje
Arthur F. Thurnau Professor
University of Michigan

Jo-Anne Pearcey
Teacher / Literacy Coach
Jefferson Elementary

Carl Hampton Rasco
President and CEO
Reading is Fundamental

Patty Shumacher
21C Senior Associate
Shelia Smith
Director, Best Practices in Early Literacy Project, NYU
Sunday Taylor
Consultant
Tish Thomas
Principal
Monticello Elementary School
Jennifer Walker
Director, Youth Developmental and Education
Independence School District

 

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© 2002 School of the 21st Century
The Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy
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Phone: (203) 432-9944
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