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LITERACY

We know that national statistics paint a forbidding picture regarding the correlation between a family's income and the language exposure and the vocabulary acquisition necessary for school success. Though parental earnings shouldn't indicate the literacy potential of children, we can't ignore the data. Geneva families earn $40,000 per year, $15,000 less than the county average. During the 2009-2010 academic year 54 percent of fourth graders met state English/Language Arts standards and 33 percent of eighth graders met those standards. We intend to maximize the community's existing literacy efforts to further ensure language exposure for our children regardless of parental income and engage new volunteers in creative ways to promote the literacy concepts of word recognition and vocabulary, fluency, comprehension and writing.

  • The percent of students performing at mastery, scoring 85% or above on NYSED regents exams or Level 4 on NYSED assessments, will increase to at least twenty (20%) of all students.

  • The percent of students performing at proficient, scoring 65% or above on the NYSED regents exams or Level 3 or above on NYSED assessments, will increase to at least eighty (80%) of all students.

  • The percent of students performing below standard, scoring 54% or below on NYSED regents exams or level 1 on NYSED assessments, will decrease to no more than ten (10%) of all students.

Cited: Success for Geneva's Children - 2011 Data Report

In the Spring 2008 issue of Harvard Education Review, the importance of literacy is made clear in the article "Why Adolescent Literacy Matters Now" by authors Jacy Ippolito, Jennifer L. Steele, and Jennifer F. Samson:

"Individuals who lack strong skills for finding, understanding, and evaluating written information cannot easily arm themselves with that information or use it to advance the causes they value. And because a free society depends on an informed and autonomous citizenry, the loss is not theirs alone. As we confront some of the great questions of our time - about war and diplomacy, immigration and citizenship, health care and human rights, and fair access to education and employment - literacy liberates us from dependence on received wisdom and allows us to find and weigh the evidence ourselves. Simply put, literacy is a cornerstone of our freedom."

Additional Information

"Why Does Literacy Matter?" from Temple, C., D. Ogle, A. Crawford, and P. Freppon (2014). All Children Read, 4th Edition. New York: Pearson

"Engaging African American Males in Reading" by Alfred W. Tatum; Educational Leadership, February 2006.

"Creating the Conditions to Encourage Literate Thinking" by Gordon Wells; Educational Leadership, March 1990.

Contact

To learn more about Geneva 2020, contact:
Katie Flowers
Director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3825
Geneva2020@hws.edu


Contribute

To make a donation to Geneva 2020, please complete the donation form. All checks should be made out to the GCSD with "Geneva 2020" in the memo.

Fill out the Commitment Form to indicate an area of interest within the Geneva 2020 model. That interest could match one or more of the projects outlined on the Geneva 2020 Priorities list, or it could indicate a general range of expertise that could be of use to the Geneva City School District.