Dr. Phil Lanoue and Dr. Noris Price represent the GSSA and are applying the Get Georgia Reading framework in their role as superintendent while also helping the Campaign reach other leaders and communities. Find out more about their commitment to Get Georgia Reading.
“Literacy is the foundation for educational and life success, and I’m very excited to lend my strong support to Get Georgia Reading, sharing the perspectives of a local leader and educational professional and advocating in my interactions with superintendents in the Georgia State Superintendents Association for the adoption of this powerful framework. It is crucial that all learners are engaged in learning environments that support and cultivate a true love of learning and literacy, and Get Georgia Reading helps do just that.”
Dr. Phil Lanoue, Superintendent of Clarke County School District
“In partnership with families and the community, our mission is to inspire students to achieve at high academic levels through challenging and innovative learning opportunities that support the development of students’ individual talents.” This is the mission statement of the Clarke County School District, and it reflects a commitment to children and the community.
Because the district believes literacy is the basis for all other learning, their work in support of that mission is closely aligned with the four pillars of the Get Georgia Reading Campaign. Literacy is built into their strategic plan goals, office improvement plans, technology resources and interventions, and more. In addition, the district aligns the assets and needs of schools and neighborhoods to community resources.
Through a robust early literacy program that begins pre-birth, children in Clarke County receive abundant Language Nutrition in print-rich environments with adult-child interactions focused on language development. At school, children continue to be exposed to the vocabulary and language acquisition skills needed to excel in educational and career paths.
Access is a critical component of their mission. The district and school family engagement specialists are dedicated to connecting families to school and community resources, acting as liaisons between community partners, schools, and families.
Productive learning climates are a pillar of the district’s Common Commitments for High Student Performance. All teachers are committed to “establishing learning environments where students are decision-makers and take responsibility for their own learning” and that “respect the individuality of each student and support their academic growth, social-emotional development, and physical well-being.” To support teachers in achieving this goal, the district provides professional learning and coaching to develop approaches for Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and promotes evidence-based, developmentally appropriate teaching practices differentiated to the abilities and interests of each student to ensure that everyone experiences social-emotional and academic success.
Professional learning and coaching are a core component of teacher support, and literacy instruction is a priority area of teacher and leader development in high-need schools. Content coaches model, support, and encourage teacher practices that build Language Nutrition, access, and productive learning climates.
While they apply this framework at the local level, district officials are actively sharing insights and lessons learned with peers from across the state through speaking engagements, conference presentations, and participation in statewide early learning programs like the Race to the Top Early Learning Empowerment Zones and the Striving Readers Program.
“I’m incredibly excited about the work we’ve been doing, and will continue to do, as part of the Get Georgia Reading Campaign that’s helping to provide us the opportunity to improve the quality of education our students receive and thus improve the quality of the workforce our community will later inherit. Through strong community partnerships, Read Baldwin County supports the Campaign by assisting families, caretakers, and teachers of young children in providing optimal learning experiences for school success and for productive and fulfilling adult lives. The focus of assisting students to read on grade level by third grade presents an exciting opportunity to change life trajectories, improve futures, and provide students with college and career options.”
Dr. Noris Price, Superintendent of Baldwin County School District
The Campaign’s four pillars serve as a framework for action in Baldwin County by focusing programs in a way that ensures they are providing the conditions necessary to support grade-level reading for all children. Last year, with the assistance of a planning grant from the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (GOSA), the Baldwin County School District implemented the Read Baldwin County program, applying the Campaign’s four pillars using a layered approach that involves educators, community agencies, and families.
The Read Baldwin County Transition Network forms the basis of this effort, offering an open forum for early childhood educators four times a year addressing the topics of Language Nutrition, positive learning climates, public health needs, and the importance of access to critical resources and social services.
These programs are made possible by a collaboration between preschool and kindergarten educators, child care center staff, and private preschools, along with Georgia College faculty. From collaborations in this network, preschool educators and kindergarten teachers observe each other’s classrooms and discuss language programs and learning opportunities to help youth prepare for success when transitioning to grade school.
Read Baldwin County includes a reading support program in four elementary schools and three after-school programs at community centers. The program provides direct early reading support to help struggling readers in grades K-3 become proficient readers. Additionally, a weekly summer enrichment program at three community centers ensures children who face barriers in getting to the local public libraries have access to learning opportunities throughout the year.
Baldwin County’s Literacy in Neighborhood Communities (LINC) includes outreach programs developed by Georgia College and district professionals that extend the four pillars into child care and preschool programs, community centers, and families of young children. Through four interactive sessions, LINC addresses the topics of early language development, social and emotional development, positive learning climates, and access to nutrition, public health, and social services that strengthen families and early learning experiences.
Read Baldwin County also promotes Get Georgia Reading’s common agenda in middle Georgia and the state through membership in several regional and state organizations focused on literacy as well as work on several grants including a Striving Readers Grant and a Birth-to-8 GOSA Grant.