Elmont schools add libraries aimed at guided reading

Books include daily lesson plans to boost reading development

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Guided reading materials designed by a pro-literacy organization will be added to the libraries at Elmont schools, according to a statement released by the Elmont Union Free School District.

Between 150-200 works of literature of various genres spanning different reading levels will be added to the libraries for students between kindergarten and sixth grade.

The classroom guided reading collection of Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell, founders of Fountas and Pinnell Literacy, an organization that creates programs designed to bolster teacher-to-student literary instruction.

Books added to the libraries will feature lesson plans made to increase reading development among students. Teachers in the Elmont schools plan to use these lesson plans daily, according to the statement.

The authors explain the method on their website: “By bringing together a small group of children who are at a similar point in their reading development and guiding them to process a text that is leveled on a gradient of difficulty, you are able to provide an incremental amount of challenge at each reader’s edge of ability to process text.”

Additionally, district-wide instructional coaches will provide teachers and students with guidance on how to use the materials throughout the 2021-2022 school year.

“Guided reading is a research-based approach to literacy instruction that is designed to provide differentiated teaching to support reading development and proficiency,” the statement said.

“I absolutely applaud the school district for this initiative” said Claudine Hall, the president of the Jamaica Square Improvement League, a local organization that has hosted benefit events for Elmont students.

“Young people don’t visit or spend enough time in the library, and it’s important for them to be able to physically touch and read books, it’s a smart idea,” she added. “For the school district to add an entire curriculum for literacy… I think it’s great.”

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