Imagine having to struggle to understand what’s being said in the classroom every time you go to school. That’s the reality for thousands of valley kids.
Many of them don’t speak English at home, so a lot of times, they’re learning it for the first time at school.
“They’re coming to school, and they’re not even coming in with a basic understanding of vocabulary words,” said Emily Campbell, a teacher at Myrtle Tate Elementary.
Tate Elementary is a zoom school. Zoom schools get extra resources for kids who have to learn English for the first time.
The Clark County School District says it is planning several new literacy initiatives designed to help even more schools.
Through millions of dollars in federal grant and district money, teachers will get more professional development to help English-language learners.
Teachers will also receive more training in teaching basic vocabulary, phonics, reading so that kids can learn to read independently.
“That ensures every single teacher in our schools is trained on the latest and greatest instructional strategies,” said Sarah Popek, the principal at Myrtle Tate Elementary.
Teachers say the most important thing about this new program is that there will be additional funding to produce more literacy development for students.
“Giving them additional materials that will really make the connection for students, is what’s really going to make the difference,” said Dr. Danielle Miller, Assistant Superintendent of CCSD’s Instructional Design and Professional Learning Division.
The programs should also bring more bilingual staffers into schools, provide after school tutoring, and extended learning opportunities throughout the summer.
Soon, there could even be certified literacy tutors in classrooms to assist kids who need extra help.