Foundational Phonetic Practice Enhanced Through Countywide Reading Initiative

Foundational Phonetic Practice Enhanced Through Countywide Reading Initiative
Posted on 08/23/2023
Cleveland County Schools excitedly announces the countywide expansion of the K-5 (kindergarten through fifth grade) phonics initiative to continue enhancing phonics education in our elementary schools. As part of the CCS commitment to providing exceptional educational experiences for our young learners, Cleveland County Schools piloted a streamlined phonics instructional initiative during the 2022-2023 school year. After seeing successful results at the pilot locations, we are excited to expand the Reading Horizons phonics instruction to all elementary schools in Cleveland County.

Now led by Dr. Jason Parker, executive director of elementary education for Cleveland County Schools, a central office team hand-delivered a box truck full of materials in an expedited one-day delivery operation, kickstarting the 2023-2024 readership campaign at every elementary school.

“We are excited to implement the new and updated version of Reading Horizons. Last year, some of our schools piloted the new program. Our teachers were able to provide the company with feedback that has further enhanced how the new platform works. Their feedback was crucial in developing a program that works for all teachers and students. Cleveland County Schools continues to make great strides with incorporating the science of reading into our early elementary grade levels. We are grateful for the support of the Board of Education as we work to help each student become successful."

According to the Reading Horizons website, the program "addresses seven areas of phonemic awareness (rhyming, syllable counting, initial sounds, blending, final sounds, medial sounds, and segmentation). The 42 Sounds of the Alphabet are taught and reviewed at a depth that is appropriate for each grade level."

Parker added, “By developing a solid foundation in understanding the relationships between sounds and letters, our students will be more efficient in figuring out words independently while improving their reading comprehension. Thus, boosting self-esteem, confidence, and enthusiasm toward learning while cultivating excellence each day!"

As the schools and educators begin to unpackage the physical materials, they will have hands-on booklets to accompany their instruction, along with decoder materials as a teaching aid.

"This countywide initiative further supports our academic strategic goals," said Dr. Brian Hunnell, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. "Schools have the tools they need to continue enhancing reader proficiency by helping all students achieve their individualized reading goals in becoming confident and capable readers."

Message to Parents: Remember, reading is a group effort, and you have an important role to play in helping your student have opportunities to read and be read to each night. Join us in celebrating this new chapter in our educational journey while growing readers and enhancing literacy.