Phonic Books decodable books in first Literacy Hub in Buffalo, New York

On February 10th, to celebrate Black History month, the first Buffalo Sabres Literacy Hub was opened at the Stanley Makowski Early Childhood Centre in Buffalo Public School #99.  Phonic Books is proud to have participated in the opening of this hub alongside other publishers of decodable books.

This wonderful initiative was set up by Teach My Kid to Read, in partnership with West New York Literacy Initiative and with the support of the Buffalo Sabres Foundation – a local ice hockey team.  Only one quarter of students in the State of New York read proficiently. This Literacy Hub, the first of several Literacy Hubs that will open in Buffalo, NY, aims to reduce inequality of access to learning resources by making decodable books available to all children and educators through the Literacy Hubs.

“Every school should have a literacy hub with decodable books and resources for beginning and struggling readers.  Our non-profit has a waiting list of 120 libraries seeking these crucial resources and support for how to use them,” states Marion Waldman, Executive Director at Teach My Kid to Read.

The hubs will provide decodable books and resources that will support ongoing work in schools to teach children to read using science-aligned instruction.  The launch of the hubs is also intended to highlight the critical role that literacy plays in determining education and life outcomes.

“You can’t really have the science of reading or structured literacy without decodable books to practice,” explains Marion Waldman. “It’s what kids use to become fluent, and eventually you just recognize the words; it’s ingrained in your memory.”

Teach My Kid has assembled a large collection of 750 decodable books for Hub including the Phonic Books range for beginner and catch-up readers.   The books will be catalogued and kept in the library for teachers to borrow as reading resources for their students.  They were selected for their alignment with the principles of systematic phonics and their diversity to reflect the school, not only in cultural backgrounds but in gender and students with disabilities.  Kathleen Sciolino, Principal of the school, was delighted to see just how many books could be culturally relevant to Black History month.

Alongside presentations of other publishers, Phonic Books showed a short video created by Barbara Steinberg of PDX Reading Specialist who uses the Phonic Books range of decodable books extensively across the USA in her training and in her tuition centre in Portland, Oregon.

“We want them (our students) on grade level, we want them decoding and we want them to be successful learners who love reading,” says Ann Botticelli, Chief Academic officer of Buffalo Schools. “One of the keys to that initiative is making sure we have the right resources.”  Phonic Books is delighted to be part of this initiative which will provide structured, engaging and diverse reading resources so that all children learn to read.

To see the phonics books presentation, click here:

#SOR #structuredliteracy #systematicphonics #teachreading #decodablebooks

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