According to the Educational Policy Improvement Center, college readiness means that a student can enter a college classroom, without remediation, and successfully complete entry-level college requirements. Not possessing the skills to read college level material is one of the primary reasons that many of today’s students entering higher education are not college ready. Trust me, I have taught college level entry courses, as well as developmental reading for the past eight years! In addition for almost 10 years, back when when ELA was called Language Arts, countless numbers of students came into my 6th grade classroom reading on a 3rd or 4th grade level. Many of these students did not have diagnosed learning disabilities! They were just students who simply did not read enough. They’d not developed the skill nor the stamina that good readers possess. While I, along with millions of other teachers around the world do our absolute best AND then some…the need to cultivate in-depth reading skills at home is almost akin to breathing in the 21st century.
Last year a highly educated sister-friend of mine reached out to me to ask if I would develop a reading curriculum for she and her husband to use at home for their daughter, whom I absolutely adore by the way:). It made me think about other parents who want the very best for their children, but might not know exactly how to get the necessary results in the area of literacy. I believe in my CORE that ALL parents want the best for their children. However we all need help! Just as I take my daughter to a gymnast and my son to a Taekwondo master because these are not my areas of expertise, parents may benefit from a trained literacy specialist who also happens to work as a literacy trainer who teaches teachers how to teach reading for a living (now that’s a tongue twister) AND I love it! This work makes me smile:) I get that Shonda Rhimes hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm she writes about in her book The Year of YES! The kind of feeling you get when you are living on PURPOSE!
As a literacy specialist who LOVES to read, it bothers me to see any student struggle with reading comprehension. Those who have “suffered” (just kidding) through me facilitating a lesson on True Colors know that I am a BLUE…more tenderhearted than I’d like to be, but solution bearing like a GREEN. This is why I began reaching out to parents and other caregivers. It is my hope…yes HOPE that each weekly reading strategy I post circulate the internet and social media in a way that touches parents, caregivers, grandparents, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, etc. so that the children in our community, nation, and world will be college ready when it’s their time! Maybe some newspaper or magazine will commission me to write weekly reading strategies for their readers too (hey I can dream big!).
While some of the reading strategies I post may be for younger children, you can adapt the same type of questions and strategies for older children and young adults. “Like” and “Follow” me @DocKizartInc. on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for weekly literacy strategies. Let’s get these children college ready!
Dr. ClauDean Kizart
Dr. ClauDean Kizart is an educator with over 18 years of experience teaching and providing professional development in the area of literacy. She has researched issues related to attrition, degree completion, and retention specifically as it relates to first generation college students since 2005. Currently she is a literacy consultant who conducts professional development in schools throughout the State of Missouri. Along with her work as a literacy consultant, she facilitates student and faculty engagement workshops focused on empowerment, attrition, and degree completion at various colleges and universities. She is a parent of two who believes that WE must be the change we want to see in education and that reading for college readiness is a skill that every parent, caregiver, sister, brother, etc. can help cultivate at home!