A teacher at South Elementary School in Chillicothe, Illinois recently received a THF grant to help her students learn reading skills. Katy Genseal will use these funds to purchase Read It Once Again, an early literacy program, to use with students in her elementary life skills program; many of whom are nonverbal or have different learning styles.
"This curriculum uses rhythm, rhyme and repetition with an emphasis on vocabulary and early basic skills," she said. "Many of my students have autism and other developmental delays that impact speech. This program is rich in vocabulary opportunities for my students."
According to its website, the Read it Once Again curriculum "uses the power of repetition to facilitate skills necessary to organize and process language concepts. The engaging teaching strategy provides a language-rich environment where the child will gain confidence and the ability to improve both receptive and expressive language skills."
Genseal added that it includes activities that incorporate learning through movement and sensory experiences. The curriculum utilizes the same book over the course of a few weeks so that the students have many opportunities to learn through repetitive readings and activities.
"The Read It Once Again Curriculum will be utilized in the classroom throughout the day," Genseal said. "A whole group activity could be presented to the whole class for a read aloud story time. Small group activities could be used to practice activities that go along with the book. One-on-one activities can be completed with individual students to target their specific needs. The teacher, along with the aides, Speech Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, and Physical Therapist can all utilize the activities within sessions for the students."
Genseal said she's looking forward to the framework for learning how to work as a group that the program will offer in her classroom.
"I like that it provides a way to incorporate communication skills within the class," she said. "I like that the assessment tool will provide a way to show progress and track student growth. I love that the curriculum encourages collaboration between multiple disciplines throughout the school for a common goal for the class."