Transforming Learning
During A Crisis


In the predominantly Black and Brown communities served by CLI, families were hit disproportionately hard not only by COVID-19 health issues, but also by job losses and housing and food insecurity. Many of the households in these CLI-served districts, on top of dealing with traumatic events, didn’t have reliable internet connections or consistent access to online schooling technology. These issues compounded quickly, making more apparent than ever the inequities in education that so many CLI-served communities face.

This was a difficult time for many CLI coaches and teachers too, not just because they themselves were transitioning to new ways of teaching, but because they had to find ways to engage students from home, often in situations beyond their control.
In a traditional classroom setting, Sharon was able to help James make significant progress in his reading skills by scheduling his small-group reading sessions later in the day so he could always attend. The paramount worry for Sharon was that children would start losing all the reading progress they had made in the classroom.
Sharon worried about James in particular. Before the pandemic, he often showed up late to school, and now he was hardly showing up for online lessons at all. If he did attend, he was distracted and it was beginning to reflect in his overall academic performance. Outside of the typical classroom setting, James—like so many other students—simply wasn’t engaging with the material.
Teachers and coaches have had to adapt to these new kinds of realities, often by embracing new technology and teaching methods. Sharon is no exception to this. Concerned for her class, Sharon used an online platform to turn her coaching sessions and read alouds into interactive games and competitions. The students caught on quickly and participation shot up, especially from James. “Through that, he just came alive,” she said, “he absolutely loved it.” Within a few weeks, James was more participatory than ever before and was on his way to being back-on-track.
Though distance learning can be difficult for students, and those difficulties are often compounded by systemic issues, CLI-coached teachers have been able to find creative and engaging solutions so that students such as James are given the opportunity to succeed. With so many students having to adjust to new learning methods, teachers and coaches like Sharon are doing impressive and vital work, and finding inclusive ways to reinvent and conduct literacy instruction so that all of their students are able to stay on-track.

At CLI, we know reading equals many things -- outcomes that are critical now more than ever. Help us show the power that comes from reading and supporting early literacy by sharing these mini-videos across social media, and telling others what reading equals to you.

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Learning Transformed

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