Tift schools make the grade - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Tift schools make the grade

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August 15, 2003

Tifton- G. O. Bailey first grade students in Mrs. Beggs class are excited about reading.

"These children came to me reading from kindergarten, and I haven't had that happen," admits first grade teacher, Lola Beggs.

Eight years ago Tift County implemented a new reading program called Literacy Collaborative in their primary schools, which are all Title I recipients. And this year they all made adequate yearly progress.

"It really emphasizes the students and where they are, and how they are reading. We take children where they are and we move them up," says G. O. Bailey Primary School Principal Joy West.

In fact, Tift County has never had to allow transfers because of failing schools, an accomplishment administrators attribute to their reading programs.

"The programs that we've tried to put in place in our schools, Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative are in fact working. We have worked hard to identify research based programs and we are indeed seeing the result," say Betty Newkirk, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction.

"It's been the best training I've ever had, and this is my 27th year teaching," adds Beggs.

In addition to just a library, Literacy Collaborative allows teachers to chose from literally thousands of leveled books for students to read, and in turn students can advance at their own pace.

A formula the that means success for turning out lifelong readers and schools that continue to make the grade.

Posted at 3:50 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com