In 2017, the Georgia Department of Education launched its exciting Literacy for Learning, Living, and Leading (L4) campaign. This literacy campaign supports a key component of the Georgia Department of Education’s Vision: by 2020, all children will be on a path to reading proficiency by third grade and beyond.
This goal is challenging.
Teachers and education leaders know first-hand that every child enters a class at different proficiency levels, especially in reading. And, students in public schools represent a variety of backgrounds, including economic. In Georgia, 60.1% of students qualify for free and reduced lunch. How do teachers and schools effectively address these students’ needs to increase their literacy levels?
In the past, policymakers believed that low-income students learn differently from those without economic challenges, so teachers should use different instructional strategies for these students. However, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Roberta Golinkoff, in their article “Poor kids learn like rich kids and all the kids in between,” refute these old ideas and state what Georgia’s L4 program promotes: students learn when schools “offer a high-quality mental diet, be it in and out of school, for all children.” And like Georgia’s L4 initiative, the authors know that regardless of income level, all children should be exposed to a wide variety of educational experiences that include parent, community, and school partnerships.
Schools, leaders, and teachers in Georgia are rising to the challenge to improve literacy across the state. Through innovative initiatives like L4, they are exploring how to involve their community resources to reach all children in Georgia. Learn more about Georgia's literacy initiative at L4GA.gadoe.org.