JOPLIN, Mo. – You may remember â€œSee Spot Runâ€ as a crucial step in learning to read.
But the Joplin School District is taking a new approach, focusing on science and how young brains make the connection to literacy.
It’s called â€œLETRSâ€, which stands for Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling.
â€œKids, how they learn, how their brains work,â€ said Melissa Kendall, McKinley Elementary.
Then use it to help them read the connection. This is the objective of the LETRS program.
â€œThey have it, it’s not memorization. It’s not – oh, it has to be like that – it’s the real property of their abilities, â€Kendall said.
The scientific approach means that teachers start with the sounds of words and how they go together. Students listen to syllables and compound words.
â€œThey’ll light up when they have a concept – you can just see it. “
The Joplin School District trains leaders in every elementary school. Once this is in place, these facilitators will pass on what they know to others on campus.
â€œTeachers are the most essential factor inside our classrooms. This is why our teachers who provide direct and explicit instruction to our students in the world of reading are critically important to our academic progress, â€said Sarah Mwangi, Deputy Superintendent of Joplin Schools.
The end goal is to improve student readingâ€¦ and what comes next.
â€œThis applies to all other subjects, the ability to read and write effectively is of critical importance to our students and their future. And so, the more knowledge we can acquire, and we can implement the way we fully anticipate that our scores will continue to increase and our students will be very successful, â€Mwangi added.
THE “LETRS” program is mainly aimed at children from kindergarten to grade 3. This can also apply to struggling readers in Grades 4 and 5, and potentially even students with special needs in high school.