Pen Argyl students benefit from literacy pilot program
Educators in Pen Argyl SD are employing a new method to help elementary students master literacy skills – one that was traditionally used to help students with dyslexia. The Orton-Gillingham approach being used was developed in the 1930s, uses multisensory methods to teach reading skills. The district is one of eight in a three-year state pilot program started in 2014 to test evidence-based literacy programs. Pen Argyl students are learning by forming the letter shapes with their fingers on a textured paper, learning mantras and chanting to help them identify sounds or shapes of letters, and flash cards. According to an article in the Morning Call, district administrators say the program is producing results – the rate of kindergarteners and first-graders who learned the grade’s core content has gone up from 2015-16 to 2016-17. They also retained the information better over the summer.