As metro Atlanta school districts approach a full year of deeply disrupted instructional schedules, we know the learning loss will be significant, especially for our traditionally underserved students. In response to the great need for additional literacy support during this pandemic, Learn4Life’s Early Literacy Network and Leadership Council have worked over the past several months to identify another layer of Bright Spots that are serving children in metro Atlanta. Bright Spots are strategies or programs that are showing uncommon success in raising a key outcome along the cradle to career continuum. The newest L4L Bright Spots are ArtsNow and SEE-KS.
Both of these programs support educator preparation and effectiveness, improve student literacy, and place heavy emphasis on providing equitable access to Black, Latinx, and low-income students.
-ArtsNow teaches educators how to integrate the arts into core content instruction, an approach that increases student engagement and academic outcomes.
-Social Emotional Engagement – Knowledge and Skills (SEE-KS) helps educators implement a relationship-oriented, curriculum-agnostic framework to ensure students are engaged in learning.
To identify these Bright Spots, L4L network members engaged in a rigorous process to understand the research factors most affecting student literacy during the pandemic, and which of those factors the network could support. They arrived at three factors: teacher preparation and effectiveness, children’s mental health, and early childhood education. Network members proposed 17 strategies that addressed one or more of these factors, and narrowed these proposals down to several for the Leadership Council to make final selections based on fit with L4L’s process.
In the coming months, L4L’s Early Literacy Network will identify strategies to support scaling ArtsNow and SEE-KS so more students benefit from their work. In particular, they will study the conditions that facilitate the successful adoption of these Bright Spots in schools, review data to provide continuous improvement, and work to raise awareness of their effectiveness, especially in addressing some of the key challenges of learning during the pandemic.
To learn from these and other Bright Spots, please join the collective impact conversation happening in L4L’s Early Literacy Network. Sign up here.