2020: We’re All in this Together

We, the 205 staff members of the Atlanta Speech School, are proud and grateful to be part of the movement to Get Georgia Reading. We know a village won’t be enough. It will take a whole state, along with the current 100-plus public and private agency partners, to end our children’s illiteracy crisis by 2020.

Now, we are excited to share a new way for teachers to receive the professional development they need to empower Georgia’s youngest children with strong language and literacy abilities. And it’s available at no cost. Ever.

Drawing on almost eight decades of our school’s research-based experience, our Rollins Center for Language & Literacy launched our online professional development center, the Cox Campus, so teachers of children from birth to third grade everywhere can learn and begin to use immediately language and literacy strategies essential for children to become proficient readers. Thanks to a generous grant from the James M. Cox Foundation, this training is available to every teacher in Georgia, and across the nation, for free.

The Cox Campus began in August 2014 with training for Pre-K teachers. Data have shown that it’s making a big impact. An independent evaluation by researchers from Georgia State University, with consultation from the University of North Carolina, found that preschool teachers who took three to six hours of Cox Campus training improved their effectiveness over a three-month period by 24 percent on a standard measure of instructional support (CLASS).

And this fall, we bring this training to teachers and caregivers of infants and toddlers. Our first course, “The Power of Language,” is now live. Through this course and the ones to follow, teachers will learn how to provide their infants and toddlers with “language nutrition” and to become their “conversational partners.” These early language transactions are critical for healthy brain development and strongly predict third-grade reading proficiency. Click here for a sense of the new module.

“The Power of Language” course consists of eight lessons each ranging from eight to 20 minutes in length. Teachers will learn how to build language and healthy brains through developing strong, trusting relationships with infants and toddlers and “serving and returning language” in every waking moment. The remainder of the infant and toddler coursework will be live by the end of December, and coursework for K-3rd grade teachers will become available by the beginning of summer 2016.

Please join the 4,900 professionals and parents here in Georgia and beyond who are already enrolled as members of the Cox Campus. It takes just a few seconds to register at readrightfromthestart.org.

— Get Georgia Reading Campaign Cabinet Member and Atlanta Speech School Executive Director Comer Yates, and your 205 partners and colleagues at the Atlanta Speech School.