PALESTINE — The Westwood Independent School District's Board of Trustees unanimously approved the purchase of the “Superkids” phonics package for the primary campus and provide matching funds for elementary playground equipment during Monday's regular school board meeting.
The “Superkids Reading Program,” a literacy curriculum that integrates phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension in a systematic style that is considered fun for kids, was approved in the amount of $63,792.36, which will be paid for from Title I federal funds earmarked for this type of need.
“The primary campus has significant Title funds remaining, and we have a need to strengthen reading skills in the early grades,” WISD Superintendent Dr. Ed Lyman said. “The 'Super Kids' program has proven its value at many other schools and the company provides quality teacher training along with the curriculum package.”
Speaking on behalf of Westwood Primary School Principal Sonya Brown, who was attending a training session Monday, Westwood Elementary School Principal Breanna Hancock told board members the “Superkids” phonics program would help streamline the students' reading skills so that all teachers were using the same approach.
“It will help strengthen reading where the students need it at all levels. It's very uniform. The skills build, but the basis will be the same,” Hancock said.
The program is a research-based program that teaches students to “hear it, see it, say it, write it,” a multi-modal instructional strategy to meet all learner needs and all levels. The program offers flexibility to reach struggling readers and includes challenging activities for stronger readers. “SuperKids” is organized so that teachers and students can see its linear structure, clearly defined goals, and measures their progress each step of the way.
The “SuperKids” program would target students in Head Start, Pre-K, kindergarten and first grade. WISD also plans to use the second-grade level SuperKids Take Off as an intervention resource for struggling readers.