Teaching Matters Awarded $120,000 to Begin “Early Reading Matters” Program

The Brooke Astor Fund for New York City Education has awarded Teaching Matters a $120,000 planning grant to develop a new K-3 early education component of its teacher effectiveness program.

Building upon our successful Teaching for Impact model that is already used in grades 3-8, Early Reading Matters will focus on improving literacy teaching and learning in these critical grades.

“It’s crucial to make sure students have a good foundation if we want to equip them for success, and that means we’ve got to give their earliest grade teachers the right tools from the start,” said Lynette Guastaferro, Teaching Matters’ Executive Director. “We’re very grateful to the Brooke Astor Fund for their support.”

Recognizing the array of early reading challenges faced by teachers in our city's classrooms, this work will focus on deepening teachers' knowledge of high impact reading strategies. The model will also include “Professional Learning Communities” – “PLC’s” – that bring these teachers together in school-based teams to share best practices, and look critically at student work together.

Teaching Matters is among 21 grantees in the first awards for the $42 million Brooke Astor Fund for New York Education, managed by the New York Community Trust. Approximately $9.2 million was given out this year. A distinguished advisory panel selected the grant recipients, selecting programs that are “using creative and promising approaches to helping children learn and improving their reading.”

“A child needs to know how to read well to succeed,” says Shawn Morehead, program officer for education at The Trust. “But the majority in New York haven’t learned the vocabulary and comprehension skills they need to succeed in later grades.”

“It’s a great honor to be among the first grantees of this fund," said Guastaferro. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to apply what we've learned in our work to date to make a difference in the lives of the youngest New York City students.”

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Teaching Matters is dedicated to increasing teacher effectiveness, one of the most critical factors in student success. Our services transform how educators work together at urban public schools, helping the most effective teachers develop the skills they need to lead their peers and drive school-wide improvement.

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