Over the past four years, Big Shoulders has initiated literacy-focused professional learning communities led by author and Big Shoulders Fund Innovation Leader Kristin Ziemke. In order to expand and deepen this work, Big Shoulders has partnered with Chicago Literacy Group (CLG) to support nearly 60 early childhood teachers. Together, CLG and Big Shoulders work with teachers to shift mindsets and teaching practices in literacy impacting approximately 1,200 students. Starting in 2017, teachers from eight Big Shoulders Fund schools began engaging in ongoing, comprehensive professional development focusing on a balanced literacy approach and implementation of Units of Study for both Writing Workshop and Reading Workshop by Lucy Calkins.
In addition to the professional development, the Literacy Initiative outfits each school with all the curricular materials necessary to effectively and efficiently transform literacy teaching and learning in their classrooms. Each teacher received the complete set of Units of Study and a starter-classroom library, including all the mentor texts associated with the curriculum, and every school will receive a Benchmark Assessment Systems Kit to more accurately determine their students’ growth and make appropriate instructional decisions.
For more information, contact Rebecca Lindsay-Ryan.
Senior Director, Academic Programs and External Affairs
312.751.3851 ✶ firstname.lastname@example.org