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"Believe and Read" Program to Enhance Early Literacy

"Believe and Read" Program to Enhance Early Literacy

Cotter Schools is thrilled to announce its selection as a "Believe and Read" school, a distinction made possible through a partnership with Groves Literacy Partnerships and Catholic Schools Center of Excellence (CESCO). This exceptional literacy program will be offered at no cost to our school and aims to transform early reading education for our students.

"Believe and Read" is a comprehensive, three-year literacy initiative designed to ensure students achieve fluency in reading. In the first year, the program will focus on kindergarten through second grade, expanding to include third grade in the second year. The program utilizes a “train the trainer” model, where coaches from Groves Literacy Partnerships work closely with all of the teachers to deliver high-quality reading instruction.

Cotter teachers will incorporate a daily 30-minute, phonics-based lesson alongside their regular reading curriculum. These lessons are meticulously scripted, providing clear instructions on how to introduce each letter and its sounds, and how to progress from letters to words. This structured approach ensures that students grasp essential reading rules, leading to improved reading fluency. Cotter’s second-grade teacher, Missy Cichosz said, “I'm motivated and excited to bring in all the science of reading components into the classroom where Believe and Read helps foster and support, and is beneficial for struggling readers and high fliers alike. I am thrilled to be able to start implementing this program with support from a literacy coach to make this program successful, sustainable, and done with fidelity so all learners can be proficient readers and writers.”

Teachers participating in the "Believe and Read" program can expect extensive coaching and support on the science of reading, which includes modeling, co-teaching, and direct assistance. They will also benefit from comprehensive professional development sessions that delve into the science of reading. Additionally, teachers will have access to various tools and assessments to effectively monitor and understand student progress. Weekly support and feedback from literacy coaches will further enhance their ability to track and support student progress through routine assessments, ensuring that all students achieve their reading goals.

Groves Academy, the driving force behind the Groves Literacy Partnerships, is a non-profit organization committed to transforming lives through education. They specialize in literacy, dyslexia, study skills, and the learning process. Groves Academy's mission is to build confidence, success, and purpose through transformative learning experiences. Their vision is to redefine education nationwide, one student, one teacher, and one school at a time, underpinned by values of authenticity, collaboration, compassion, discovery, and tenacity.

Cotter’s journey to becoming a "Believe and Read" school involved several key steps. It began with site tours of existing "Believe and Read" schools, gaining valuable insights into the program's implementation and impact. Following this, there was a thorough application process to qualify for the program. Teachers and administration engaged in rigorous preparation, including LETRS training, a research-based professional course designed to help educators master effective reading, language, and literacy instruction. This comprehensive training equipped staff with the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully implement the "Believe and Read" program and improve reading outcomes for students.

Cotter President, Mary Eileen Fitch, expressed the school's enthusiasm for participating in the program, stating, “We are very excited to be participating in CSCOE's Believe and Read program. The results of the program speak for themselves, and the data from the schools that have faithfully implemented the strategies are impressive. We are thrilled that our teachers will be receiving this ongoing professional development for the next three years, and most importantly, we are excited that our students will benefit. Setting our students up to be successful readers will dramatically improve their academic achievement throughout their journey at Cotter and beyond. What a gift!”


"Believe and Read" Program to Enhance Early Literacy
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