Making Reading a Priority in St. Louis

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There is no doubt that literacy plays a powerful role in every facet of early education, which is why here at The Biome we cultivate an atmosphere where our learners grow to be readers. Without a strong foundation in literacy, a strong STEAM education is not possible. Therefore, teachers and staff at The Biome focus much of their efforts on making reading a fun, enjoyable skill for each and every one of our children. Cultivating a love of reading is especially crucial in early elementary education. If we can instill the value of reading into our learners, their future opportunities will be boundless.

On Friday, March 2, The Biome celebrated Read Across America Day by taking a school-wide field trip to the St. Louis Public Library’s Central Library. During this off-campus excursion, they participated in the nation’s very first Read Aloud Flash Mob with the students at Lafayette Preparatory Academy. What makes your average ordinary field trip to the library a flash mob? When cued, different grades began reading Green Eggs and Ham. During this symphony reading of Dr. Seuss’ famous children’s book, individuals involved with The Biome School held signs displaying different facts about literacy, such as “Literacy begins at home.” The result was a fun and playful chorus of Dr. Seuss rhythm and rhyme. At the end of the day, learners were given their own copies of the book, as well as a library card to further enhance their developing interest in reading.

In Missouri, only 36% of students are proficient in reading (NAEP, 2015). The Literacy Flash Mob not only encouraged our learners here at The Biome to find enjoyment inside the covers of a book but also advocated for the importance of literacy in early childhood.

The effort behind building a strong foundation in literacy is continuously making an impact at The Biome. Recent STAR Reading scores, a research-validated, state-specific assessment, evidenced The Biome’s dedication to improving literacy for every learner. Each grade level, from Kindergarten to third grade, made remarkable improvements in reading. For example, 92% Kindergarteners showed improvement in reading levels, increasing an average of 1.7 levels since the beginning of the school year. Further, 82% first graders having shown improvement in reading levels, 97% second graders, and 100% third graders.

These accomplishments are extremely exciting for all of us here at The Biome to see, but of course, none of this would be made possible without our families who are dedicated to their children’s education. Not only do these scores indicate an impressive improvement in reading capabilities amongst our learners, but they also show the profound impact that a safe and creative learning environment can have on a child’s aptitude for reading.

Together, we can make an impact in early literacy. Today, you can make a difference by sharing the first ever Literacy Flash Mob video with your network and raise awareness on the importance of literacy in our region. See and share the video: here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVIbODW0azM