Entering into 2021, the Intergenerational Schools are ready to launch another piece to the Boundless Learning Reopening plan! This month, begins the rollout of the Family Approach to Literacy initiative for Emerging, Beginning, and Developing student. For the remainder of the school year, students will receive a personal set of books and connect with a volunteer Learning Partner trained to support their literacy instruction. Through this partnerships between home, school, and the community; the goal is to strengthen the quality of education each student receives during remote learning.

Surrounding Students with a Community of Support

Social isolation, access to physical books, and inequitable access to high-quality instruction were and are concerns shared by both families and educators as we enter into an uncertain school year. This project seeks to address those three concerns and improve primary students'ability to read through increasing their access to a small personal library, ensuring their access to high quality personalized instruction, and by building better more sustainable relationships between school, home, and community.

Throughout the school year, teachers, families, and Learning Partners (volunteers) will partner to create a

learning community around the child. This group of supportive adults will meet regularly, read a set of

common books with the students and participate in training. The adults are linked in relationship through

the students and the child’s education is linked through a common set of picture and guided reading books.

Building Students Personal Home Libraries

When school is in person, Intergenerational School students have access to a variety of books through shared classroom sets and school libraries. Students consistently read books that were at their individual reading level and had the opportunity to continually practice reading these books. Although e-books have been made accessible through the purchasing of programs such as EPIC and the public libraries, teaches have not found these to be as effective as having a physical book.

Throughout the remainder of the school year, each student will receive five picture and five guided reading books each week through the end of April. Teachers will use these books to present and write lessons. Families and Learning Partners will use these books to reinforce lessons and practice reading with the student. The books were purchased through a partnership with A Cultural Exchange, a Cleveland nonprofit literacy-based multicultural arts organization for children located in the Larchmere neighborhood. President and CEO Deborah McHamm helped to choose books that feature main charters from diverse backgrounds and better reflect students attending the Intergens.

The first set of books were mailed on January 15, 2021.

Each student will receive eight books in the first package. These books will be used for small reading group learning, daily reading practice, and rereading with adults--including Learning Partners!

Are you interested in volunteering?

For 20 years, the education the Intergenerational Schools offers has been extended beyond the walls of a school building through the Intergenerational Programming.

To make an impact, go to igschools.org/volunteer.