DPS Corner: 2014 Literacy Summit coming in May

Mar. 24, 2014 @ 10:39 AM

On May 3, volunteers and partners from across Durham County will unite with a shared strategy toward our common purpose: every child a reader, every child a writer.
The Durham Public Schools Literacy Summit, presented by the Superintendent’s Closing the Achievement Gap Committee, will convene beginning at 8:30 a.m. May 3 at Brogden Middle School. If you are a current volunteer or partner in Durham Public Schools, or would like to learn how to support our schools in teaching our students how to improve their reading and writing skills, we urge you to join us.
The Literacy Summit is one part of DPS’s response to the Read to Achieve program enacted by the North Carolina General Assembly in July 2012. While the State Board of Education has recently updated the details of how Read to Achieve is implemented, the principle remains the same: If a third-grade student cannot read at grade level by the school year’s end, he or she will have to either repeat third-grade or participate in a free reading camp sponsored by DPS.
Community partners and educators on the Closing the Achievement Gap committee, led by co-chairs and community volunteers Martinette Horner and Donna Rewalt, saw an opportunity to gather our community together, mobilizing new and current volunteers to pour more energy into helping our students read and write. We are inviting faith communities, business partners and the many Durham organizations dedicated to community literacy to join us for sessions designed to offer helpful resources and present the state academic standards that our students must meet.
Read to Achieve’s basic emphasis on early skills is sound, even if the statewide implementation has been challenging. Reading and writing are the key to academic success for every child. When a student is a proficient reader he or she can better absorb history, science and other subjects. A proficient writer can not only demonstrate but also apply his or her knowledge. Preparation in early grades leads to success and, in the end, graduation.
We hope you will join us at the 2014 Durham Public Schools Literacy Summit so that all of us, as schools, partners and community volunteers, can more quickly build that foundation of knowledge for our students. You can pre-register at www.dpsnc.net/literacy-summit. We will provide child care for ages 4 to 12 to people who request it in advance online. Breakfast and lunch are included. We will see you at Brogden Middle School at 1001 Leon St. in Durham on May 3, and we look forward to a community partnership that grows and becomes even more powerful long after the summit has ended.