District 203 Training

School is back in session, but you won’t see students in the hallways at Mill Street Elementary.

A $31,000 grant from the Jeanine Nicarico Memorial Literacy Fund, has allowed teachers are taking part in a four day reading and writing workshop.

“Its all focused on best practice instruction and with the movement for common core and the new curriculum we thought it was important to bring in a very focused and intentional program in the area of writing for our teachers as they move and transition writing instruction next year. We are able to build the capacity they need,” said The District’s Director of Professional Learning, Melissa Hampton.

Typically for this type of training, school districts would send one or two teachers to New York. Thanks to the Nicarico Literacy Fund Grant they were able to bring the training to 75 teachers here in town.

“There was an application process in which the teachers had to explain their interest in writing instruction and how they feel they could go back into their schools and shepherd writing workshops in their schools,” said Hampton.

The grant especially hits home for one teacher, Chris Nicarico -Roy, Jeanine’s older sister.

In 1983, Jeanine Nicarico was kidnapped from her home and killed, the fund was started to honor her and her love of reading.

“The fund is very important to me because it’s in honor of my sister Jeanine, she had struggled with reading and writing in her life, and this is such a tribute to her,” said Nicarico – Roy.

The training is being provided by experts from the teacher college reading and writing project.

“This is built off of Lucy Calkins unit of study, and so in each of those there is instruction for writing workshop for our students, in which there is a pre assessment then there are very focused and intentional strategies for students to build their writing,” said Hampton.

Roy is especially excited to bring back what she learns in the program to the upcoming class.

“The students are going to really flourish with this approach because they are writing, and you’re talking to them as writers and you’re using books they’ve already read on their own or that the teacher is using and you’re learning how to write from others and what the professionals already do,” said Roy.

This is the largest grant given by the fund to date.

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