The Campaign works with dozens of school districts across the country to promote the kind of high-quality teaching that assures reading success for children from low-income families by the end of third grade. We define quality teaching as addressing the social, emotional, physical, and academic needs of each and every child through the shared contributions of schools, families, communities, and policymakers. Quality teaching relies upon using the resources of the larger community to support students:
- to be ready for school
- to avoid summer learning loss through summer enrichment and reading reinforcement activities;
- to attend school every day, on time.
And it means encouraging and supporting parents to help their children become school ready, and once in school, to work effectively with teachers to ensure their child is well known and understood, attends school every day and has summer activities that enhance their learning.
Through community participation and supports, a teacher’s work is supplemented and supported by before- and after-school activities as well as summer enrichment. Teachers learn from each child’s parents, pre-K teachers, and kindergarten entrance assessments that detail each child’s developmental status and assets. And in the classroom, volunteers can help support student learning through tutoring, individualized attention, and/or relieving the teacher of some of the classroom management to allow the teacher to work with students one-on-one and in small groups.
The community, through organizations and volunteers, supports student attendance at school and in preK activities. Community resources, including parents, are mobilized to help ensure children: have food; a place to live; are safe in their homes and neighborhoods; can see, hear, breathe (asthma), and have dental issues addressed; are known well by at least one adult outside their homes; and, once ready for school, each student:
- enters school healthy and learns about and practices a healthy lifestyle;
- learns in an environment that is physically and emotionally safe for students and adults;
- is actively engaged in learning, challenged academically, and connected to the school and broader community; and
- has access to personalized learning and is supported by qualified, caring adults.
Quality teaching is nothing more or less than helping ensure that students are healthy and have the best possible preparation for school, parents are engaged in their children’s learning, teachers have the community, parent, and volunteer supports needed to ensure students attend school and avoid summer learning loss, know who the students are as individuals, how each learns, and have what they need to meet each student’s learning needs.