CCS Holds Family Literacy Academy To Prepare Third Graders For State Reading Test


UPDATED: Saturday February 22, 2014 7:40 PM

More than 4,000 Columbus City Schools third graders will be taking the Ohio Achievement Assessment this spring.

The test results will determine whether the students have acquired the reading skills necessary to advance to the fourth grade.

However, more than 50% failed the test in the fall, educators are working hard to help find a solution this time around.

Columbus City School administrators hosted a Parent Literacy Academy on Saturday.

Nicole Carter was one of hundreds of parents that attended.

"I'm grateful for this program. They're helping parents be more resourceful for their kids and more kids be excellent for their futures," she said.

Carter said attending the academy was crucial for the advancement of her 9 year-old daughter, Destiny.

Sandee Donald is the director of reading, language arts and social studies and said because more than 50% of third graders are failing the reading portion of the advancement tests, instruction must continue with the parents after the school day ends.

"Our goal was to give parents practical strategies that they can use at home to enhance literacy instruction for their students," Donald said.

Camille Dobbins said she welcomes partnering with educators, especially since her daughter Amira is struggling.

"She is falling behind in reading and it gives me resources as far as testing, exactly what she needs to learn and so to answer the test questions correctly," said Dobbins.

The concerns reach far beyond Columbus, it was also a packed house at the Upper Arlington Library where the Central Ohio Friends of Public Education held a forum to answer concerns about the third grade reading guarantee.

Maureen Reedy is a third grade teacher with more than three decades of experience, and said high stakes testing weighs heavily on parents and students.

Keyana Gravely is a mother of three and said she knew the stress but was confident her daughter Camille will pass with her help.

"You have to find time to make a few minutes here and there, a cereal box, different things like that. Try to fit in reading wherever you can," said Gravely.

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