Message from the President

Brenda Peters, NHIDA President

Hello friends of NHIDA,

As a branch serving New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont, we continue to work hard to provide you with high-quality webinars, training, and resources to support our mission: structured literacy for all.

As we work and teach in these unprecedented times of the pandemic, the need for structured literacy for all students is even more urgent. Before the pandemic, over 65% of 4th and 8th-grade students were reading below grade level. Now, two years into the pandemic, literacy levels have plummeted, especially in our youngest readers. Based on decades of research, we know that the road to educational recovery is through structured literacy instruction for all students, especially the 65% who struggle.

Over one billion dollars has been allocated to Maine ($411 Million), New Hampshire ($350 Million), and Vermont ($285 Million) for educational recovery through the American Recovery Act (ARC). Now, more than ever, we need to do what we can to ensure funding is allocated to evidence-based structured literacy training and curricula.

Sadly, many schools still use reading curricula that fail to meet educational expectations. EdReports and CURATE provide reviews of reading programs and found the following do not meet expectations:

  • Fountas & Pinnell Classroom K-5 (Heinemann)
  • Holt McDougal Literature 6-12 (HMH)
  • Journeys K-6 (HMH)
  • Reach for Reading K-6 (National Geographic/Cengage)
  • Reading Streets Common Core K-6 (Pearson)
  • Units of Study in Reading, Writing, and Phonics K-5 (Heinemann)
  • Wonders K-2, the publication year 2017 (McGraw Hill)

As parents, educators, and taxpayers, we must know what curriculum is used in our schools or district and how these grant funds are allocated. You can make a difference, your voice matters. All students deserve effective reading materials and instruction to become proficient readers.

The National Council on Teacher Quality, 2020 The Four Pillars of Reading Success: An Action Guide for States, pillar 3 focuses on evaluating and recommending programs and includes excellent links to completed program evaluations and evaluation tools. If you have not read this report add it to your must-read list now!

Be sure to save the date for our annual virtual conference, The Science of Reading and the Road to Educational Recovery: The Urgent Need for Structured Literacy for All Students, on October 27 and 28, which will feature many experts in our field. We are thrilled to announce that college professors and students in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont get to attend the conference for a special rate! More information will be coming soon!

Finally, thank you to all our READ for Parents guest speakers, including the following: Dr. Tiffany Hogan on Oral Language, Dr. Louisa Moats on Spelling, and Dr. Melissa Farrall on Dysgraphia. You can find all our READ for Parents recordings, slide decks, fact sheets, and more on our website. Please join us for our upcoming READ for Parents sessions listed below.

Take care and be well,

Brenda Peters, MA, MEd, SAIF, ICALP
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