What makes a comprehensive literacy program you might ask? Well, let’s dive right in and find the answer!
There are several essential components of a solid comprehensive literacy program. According to Irvin, Meltzer, & Dukes, (2007), “A school wide literacy action plan is an essential blueprint for improving student achievement. An effective plan requires the skillful use of data about student performance, literacy needs and expectations in the school and community, school capacity to support literacy development, current teaching practices, and effectiveness of the literacy program. To generate change, leaders must actively use a literacy action plan to guide decision making around instruction, programming, and resource allocation”. This quote is the foundation of what an effective school wide literacy plan obtains.
Just like we differentiate for every classroom of students, a literacy plan must be differentiated based on the needs and areas of concern for the students and staff at that particular school. The plan must start by assessing the major needs in the school. Every action plan must have goals that target literacy development (Irvin, Meltzer, & Dukes, 2007).
According to Irvin, Meltzer, & Dukes, (2007), an effective literacy action plan also allows all members of the school to understand the status, goals for the future, the actions to be taken to reach the goals, who is responsible, and how success will be measured.
Another key component is the effective use of data as part of the school wide literacy initiative. Data must be taken on student performance, school and community needs, school capacity, and teacher practices (Irvin, Meltzer, & Dukes, 2007).
According to Irvin, Meltzer, & Dukes (2007), A literacy action plan has five key components:
- Strengthening Literacy Development Across the Content Areas
- Strategic Interventions for Struggling Readers and Writers
- School Policies, Structures, and Culture for Supporting Literacy
- Building Leadership Capacity
- Teacher Professional Development
“Using a data-driven plan to monitor the program is important to ensure that the literacy action plan is effective” (Irvin Meltzer, & Dukes, 2007). This step is critical for all steps taken both in the school and within each classroom in order to measure success of any given intervention or successful literacy plan.
Irvin, J. L., Meltzer, J., & Dukes, M. S. (2007). Taking action on adolescent literacy: an implementation guide for school leaders. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.