It all starts with Literacy.

In shut-down Washington, D.C., Innovations is up and running


Thomson ES

Much in Washington, D.C., has shut down, but not Innovations for Learning’s campaign to improve literacy in the public schools.

Innovations’ TeacherMate program, which uses the power of iPads, iPod Touches and MP3 players to bolster reading instruction, is getting off the ground in 63 first-grade classrooms  in the District of Columbia Public Schools District.

“The excitement is seeing the students actually using the program,” says Innovations’ Tahra Tibbs. “One of my teachers, who’s brand-new to the program, said she’s been using it for a week and that everything’s great. She completely exceeded my expectations.”

Tibbs, along with Sybil Anderson, are teacher ambassadors, guiding the Innovations project, hands-on, throughout 30 schools in the nation’s capital.

Besides the dozens of first-grade classrooms, the program is launching in six second-grade classes where principals took it upon themselves to purchase iPods and other needed devices, second grade being outside an established budget aimed at kindergarten and first grade.

About 35 kindergarten classes will start using the program around November 1, Tibbs said.

Around the same time, the classes will add TutorMate, the Innovations program that taps volunteers from corporations and other large organizations to tutor school children one on one, via telephone and computer.

The reading program is an ambitious effort to reach children in struggling schools to ensure that they can read with proficiency by the third grade — a crucial milestone.

Photo by Tahra Tibbs: A Thomson Elementary School first-grader engrossed in his lessons on an iPod Touch. 


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