New York, NY – January 9, 2015
Teaching Matters is bringing its Early Reading Matters program to 8 high poverty schools in the Bronx, thanks to a $600,000 award by the New York Community Trust Brooke Astor Fund for New York City Education. The award amount was the second highest of $7.4 million distributed to 51 nonprofits in the final round of the Trust’s grant-making during 2014, and the second largest grant so far from the Brooke Astor Fund to improve reading in early grades.
Early Reading Matters offers a blueprint to deepen teacher support in the critical area of K-3 reading. Literacy is fundamental to academic success, and the adoption of rigorous Common Core State Standards has added to the challenge for K-3 educators.
Naomi Cooperman, Director of Program Design at Teaching Matters, says “To meet the new standards, educators must be well versed in how children learn, and also skillful in choosing and using instructional strategies targeted to a wide array of student needs.” Early Reading Matters will first address this need by focusing on New York City public schools with high concentrations of poverty, where reading scores are particularly low, and the most supports are needed. Ultimately, we intend to expand to other academically challenged schools in New York City, and then beyond the city’s borders.
Early Reading Matters builds on our successful Teaching for Impact model of professional development and collaborative inquiry already widely used in grades 3-8. We have created a sharable toolkit, accessible to participating schools, that features research-based teaching strategies and existing and adapted resources to hone the knowledge and pedagogical skills of teachers and leaders.
The Early Reading Matters initiative meshes with the New York City Chancellor’s Citywide Instructional Expectations that recognize collaborative inquiry as an essential component of teacher effectiveness and student learning. “We are eager to provide these key elements of best teamwork and analysis to benefit early learners,” said Lynette Guastaferro, Teaching Matters Executive Director. “Starting our youngest off right is critical to future success,” she added.
Contact: Sharon Rubinstein, 212 870-3505 ext. 8; cell 703-901-7947
Teaching Matters is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing teacher effectiveness, one of the most critical factors in student success. Our services transform how educators work together at urban public schools, helping the most effective teachers develop the skills they need to lead their peers and drive school-wide improvement. We also partner with school leadership to create a work environment that equips teachers to succeed in the classroom. From nearly 20 years of working in New York City’s public schools, we’ve developed an understanding of realistic and lasting ways to improve student outcomes, and we’re committed to real, measurable results. Visit www.teachingmatters.org to learn more about how we’re making a difference for students and teachers at public schools.