RISC to host meeting to address reading ‘crisis’ in Eastern Henrico
RISC (Richmonders Involved to Strengthen our Communities) will host a meeting at St. Paul's Baptist Church on Creighton Road, beginning at 7 p.m., to call for Henrico County Public Schools officials to address reading problems among area students. The organization is composed of faith community members, parents and students. Representatives from each population are expected to speak.
Concerned parents and students will speak on the issue, which the group has been raising for more than a year.
RISC officials have cited stats that they say illustrate the depth of the problem, including that:
• 16 elementary schools in Henrico County Public Schools failed their reading SOL state tests in 2015;
• 75 percent of the schools that failed their reading SOL tests are located in Eastern Henrico;
• 81 percent of the schools that are partially accredited did not meet the benchmark or criteria for the narrow margin of improvement in reading in the 2014-15 school year;
Officials with RISC (an interfaith, interracial, multi-issue coalition of 17 member congregations in the greater Richmond area) are seeking a pilot program for kindergarten, first and second grades in five Eastern Henrico elementary schools.
Since 2013, however, HCPS has been implementing grade-specific literacy programs designed to place a stronger emphasis on instruction for kindergartners and first- and second-graders countywide. The program is designed to ensure that all students are reading on grade level by third grade, HCPS Director of Elementary Education Michelle McQueen-Williams told the School Board during its April 28 work session.
The approach focused initially on kindergarten in 2013-14, then on first grade last year and this year on second grade, she said. Each year, as the focus shifted to a new grade level, HCPS administrators formed a new literacy curriculum committee specific to that grade, composed of teachers from all five magisterial districts, McQueen-Williams said. The committees have helped design and implement new standards and training efforts for teachers to use to improve student literacy.
Each elementary school in the county has a Reading Administrative Designee (RAD) who ensures that teachers are effectively implementing those training techniques. Based on data and feedback from the first quarter of this school year, officials directed additional funding to address specific areas of need countywide in their second-grade literacy efforts.
The school system also has assigned district literacy coaches to spend one or two days a week at each of the elementary schools that are struggling with student literacy.
"We all agree with the absolute fundamental importance of all our students being able to read," Varina District School Board member John Montgomery said during the work session.
Citizen Staff Reports 04/29/2016
Every week, another child is diagnosed with cancer in Central Virginia. Last summer, six-year-old Caroline Morris was one of them.
Diagnosed in June 2015 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common type of childhood cancer, Morris has been receiving treatment at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR) ever since.
“It’s not my hair that makes my beauty,” said Morris, who lost her hair as a chemotherapy side effect, “it’s my heart.” > Read more.
Citizen Staff Reports 04/25/2016
The sign up period for the Richmond Community Solar Co-op will close on April 30. Nearly 150 homeowners and businesses have joined the group to save money and make going solar easier. The group has started installations and is working with VA SUN to learn about solar technology and the process of going solar.
“If you’ve ever thought about going solar, this is a great opportunity to do so,” said Sekar Veerappan Co-op member and the group’s first installation. “Working with the group helps members learn about going solar and make an informed decision.” > Read more.
Another great weekend of outdoor activities awaits you in Henrico! Walk MS, an annual charity run for multiple sclerosis, and the third annual Movin’ & Shakin’ 5K, to benefit the VCU Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Center, both take place in Innsbrook tomorrow. Another charity event, the CASA Superhero Run, will be held at St. Joseph’s Villa. On Sunday, live music can be found at Belmont Recreation Center, featuring the John Winn Quartet, and at Shady Grove United Methodist Church, where pianist Sylvia Cooper will be performing. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
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ClassifiedsREADERS & MUSIC LOVERS. 100 Greatest Novels (audio books) ONLY $99.00 (plus s h.) Includes MP3 Player & Accessories. BONUS: 50 Classical Music Works & Money Back Guarantee. Call Today!… Full text
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