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Fountain, C. & Wood, J. (2000). Florida early literacy and learning model: A systematic approach to improve learning at all levels. Peabody Journal of Education, 75(3), 85-98.

Author: Fountain, C. & Wood, J.

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Description:

This article details the implementation of a project in Florida that sought to improve student literacy among more than 1,000 four, five, and six year olds by preemptively remedying the issues resulting from a lack of literacy opportunities. Called the Florida Early Literacy and Learning Model (ELLM), this project was built upon the understanding that “The most important job of the elementary school program is to teach children to read and write� and that the “years from birth through Age 5 are the most important for literacy development� (p. 85). According to the article, “Research shows that children who enter prekindergarten classes with prereading experiences become more skilled readers than those who enter school with limited at-home literacy experiences� (p. 90). Thus, ELLM aimed to extend and support literacy experiences for young children with limited literacy opportunities.

Designed to effectively intervene in young children’s pre-literacy development, and therefore to prompt greater literacy achievement throughout the school years, the ELLM project was based on the following: collaborative restructuring, reading research, high-performance learning environments, and family involvement. The article details the structures and processes of the various interventions implemented by the project, and describes the models used to improve literacy instruction, and to promote family and community literacy involvement. The ELLM, which was “found to be effective in increasing literacy and reading achievement of young children who have come to school underprepared� (p. 85), serves as a model for collaborative educational intervention and reform for administrators, policymakers, teachers, literacy coaches and/or parents wanting to effect real change in student literacy. As the article concludes, the ELLM “provides a structure for working together to create multiple and diverse learning teams and networks that change perceptions of and expectations for families, schools, and communities to improve at-risk students’ learning, literacy achievement, and success in school� (p. 97).

Date Added: 01/24/2008

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