National Early Language and Literacy Expert Emily Rubin Completes 2024 Training Sessions for Savannah Chatham Teachers

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

June 13, 2024 -Two-thirds of Georgia’s third-graders are not reading on grade level. The result is long-term negative consequences for those children, their families, their communities, and our state. But, according to Get Georgia Reading Campaign, this disparity has inspired hundreds of public and private leaders from across the state and sectors to come together to take on early language development and reading skills as an urgent priority for all who care about children’s health and well-being.

Coastal Georgia Indicators Coalition (CGIC), United Way of the Coastal Empire, Live Oak Public Libraries, Get Georgia Reading, Sandra Dunagan Deal Center for Early Language and Literacy and Savannah Chatham Public School System recently presented a workshop series for Savannah educators focused on developing early language skills in young learners.

National early language and literacy expert Emily Rubin led all three training sessions, wrapping up the series in May at the Southwest Branch of Live Oak Public Libraries in Savannah.

”The groundwork we are laying today helps teachers foster language skills in young learners which will result in their becoming proficient readers by the end of third grade,” said CGIC executive director Lizann Roberts. “That will pave the way to improved outcomes throughout school and life.”

Co-developer of the SEE-KS approach, Rubin equips educators with tools that engage students in everyday settings and academic instruction. She also empowers teachers to sustain the work through peer to peer mentorship.

Rubin’s professional vision is to provide public schools with a framework for social and emotional engagement and learning that is: 1) ecologically valid to the demands of achieving academic standards, 2) sensitive to the unique needs of students with social learning differences, and 3) can serve as a universal design for learning that benefits all of our students and young children in order to maximize return on professional learning.

“We know classroom engagement is at the heart of children’s learning, but fostering those skills in students is one of the biggest challenges for local educators,” said Roberts. “CGIC’s collaboration of resource agencies is committed to addressing overall health and well-being while leveraging resource initiatives such as this workshop series.”

Local educators attended each of the three training sessions. The first event in January focused on tools to improve early language skill development to foster more positive life skills. At the second session, in March, Rubin outlined ways to mentor and provide support for the development of community-viable models of staff training.

“This training was designed to equip teachers with proven approaches and toolkits that better equip them to interact with students and provide the mentoring tools they need to assist other teachers in early intervention techniques,” said Roberts. “We now have a solid roadmap that shows educators how to work together better to foster their students’ social, emotional and academic needs.”

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