By Rick La Plante, New Haven Schools Public Information Officer
The East Bay Community Foundation, which earlier this year awarded the New Haven Unified School District a grant to support Writing Workshop, has awarded the District a second grant for a complementary literacy program.
The Foundation is giving the District an $11,000 to train teachers and literacy coaches in the Elements of Balanced Literacy.
“Balanced Literacy is a methodology that incorporates a variety of modalities, such as read-alouds, shared reading and guided reading,” New Haven Chief Academic Officer Wendy Gudalewicz said. “The Balanced Literacy approach to instruction reflects a gradual release of control. Responsibility is gradually shifted from the teacher to the students, leading to student independence in reading.”
The teachers who are being trained will establish model classrooms, and the literacy coaches will provide parent training,” said Director of Instructional Support Scott Pizani.
Balanced Literacy is “an ideal complement to Writing Workshop,” Mr. Pizani added, referring to the research-based approach to writing instruction that has met with great success in New Haven Unified since it was adopted in 2007-08. In June, the East Bay Community Foundation granted the District $25,000 to provide training in the advanced sections of Writing Workshop for kindergarten, first and second-grade teachers.
“Making connections between Balanced Literacy and Writing Workshop is the next logical step,” Mr. Pizani said.
New Haven was encouraged to apply to the East Bay Community Foundation because of the Foundation’s interest in helping to provide training for literacy education, particularly in primary grades.
“We feel very fortunate that the East Bay Community Foundation shares our belief that literacy is the key component in education and that the Foundation continues to support us, especially in such difficult economic times,” Superintendent Kari McVeigh said.
The East Bay Community Foundation (www.eastbaycf.org) connects community needs in Alameda and Contra Costa counties with individuals, families and organizations interested in charitable giving - and acts as a catalyst for change through leading initiatives through advocacy, and through partnerships with business, government, and private foundations. Formed in 1928, the Foundation is a leading resource on charitable giving and community needs, stewarding more than 400 charitable funds and endowments.