Crestwood To Institute Pre-K Literacy Program
By NICOLE FAY BARR
Correspondent

With enthusiasm and optimism, Crestwood Superintendent Joseph Gorham presented his plan to increase the literacy skills of children entering kindergarten and to assist teachers in their methods of instruction for the district’s youngest students.

“There are kids coming into kindergarten that don’t have the skills that we need them to have,” Gorham told a group of about 50, at the Kirby Library Sept. 23. By addressing this issue, he said, “We’re going to be setting them up for success.”

Attending the meeting were not only the kindergarten teachers and principals from both elementary schools, but also parents, school board members, police chiefs from two townships, and several business owners.

Gorham explained that, if the whole community gets involved, in ways such as businesses providing reading materials in waiting rooms and police chiefs becoming involved when they see families with small children in need, the district can be successful.

“We have to work together to make that downward trend change,” he said.

Bill Jones, CEO of the United Way, interjected his findings on literacy. Graduation rates are a key way to determine a district’s success and reading levels in third grade directly correspond to those graduation rates, said Jones, who coincidentally has the same name as a school board director.

Up to third grade, students are learning to read, Jones explained. After that grade, students are reading

CRESTWOOD DISCUSSES KINDERGARTEN LITERACY-Crestwood kindergarten teachers and reading specialists attended a meeting, presented by Superintendent Joseph Gorham, focused on improving literacy skills of children entering kindergarten and how to best instruct those students once they enter the district. Pictured, front from left: Melissa Albers, Kim Mikielski, Kim Shermanski, Regina Kloeker, and Briana Button. Back: Gorham, Mark Krokos, Jessica Funk, Amber Kaminski, Donna Caladie, Yvonne Barley, Jennifer Detweiler, Kellie Bates, Margie Kane, Trish Iracki, and Michelle Brooks-Rogers.

to learn. However, if they are not proficient in reading by third grade, their education suffers and statistics have shown that many who are struggling to read in third grade end up dropping out of high school.

While Crestwood has a high graduation rate, Jones said, “For me, this meeting is how can we go from good to great.”

Gorham added that reading is more important than ever as technology advances because even manual laborers such as mechanics are now using computers for their businesses.

He commended the large group of kindergarten teachers and aides in attendance and stated that they do much more than “coloring and tying shoes.” Showing a bar graph

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