The 2018-2019 school year in Sarasota County offered something new for Kindergarten and first-grade students: EdExploreSRQ goes WILD for Literacy! Over 1,780 students from twelve Title 1 schools participated in specially designed Explorations, and they each received a book connected to the Exploration for their home libraries.
This program is a partnership between EdExploreSRQ and the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. WILD for Literacy focuses on three key goals:
1) Increasing experiential learning experiences
2) Strengthening the EdExploreSRQ literacy components such as vocabulary and listening skills that are critically important for young learners in grades K-1
3) Encouraging parent engagement
The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading led by Beth Duda and is a community effort in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, and DeSoto counties to help all children, especially those from low-income families, succeed by ensuring they read on grade level by the end of third grade. EdExploreSRQ is a web-based search platform that provides a menu of experiential learning opportunities for teachers, principals, and parents to select for students in grades K-12 to enhance learning. Each Exploration is reviewed and approved by school district staff to ensure compliance with educational standards.
The results are in, and the program was deemed a success by schools and providers of Explorations! For our schools, 11 out of 12 were able to participate. Twelve of EdExploreSRQ’s providers completed the necessary paperwork and alignment with literacy standards to offer WILD for Literacy Explorations. The most popular Explorations and accompanying books included:
The book that accompanied each Exploration included several literacy components for students and their parents:
Community providers of these special Explorations were most enthusiastic about
Note: The Patterson Foundation generously covered the cost of the books.
Raina Hodges, a first-grade teacher at Gocio Elementary, summed up the sentiments of the participating teachers: “Just wanted to say thanks for such a fun, engaging adventure with lemurs! My students are still talking about how fun it was.”