2005-01-14 / Columnists

Middle School 53 Makes It Happen

On December 16, MS 53 in Far Rockaway welcomed parents to its balanced literacy workshop.

Gila Ostrowsky, the facilitator for the school’s UFT Teacher Center, hosted the event, which attracted many parents concerned about their children’s reading ability. Balanced Literacy refers to the school using the “workshop model” where the teacher is the facilitator and the students practice skills and strategies either independently or in small groups under the teacher’s guidance. The goal of this program is to integrate reading, writing, thinking, and learning by utilizing strategies (such as Four Square Writing) or practice skills in a classroom that follow the workshop model. This program allows the teacher to focus on the individual student and his needs.

Through improvement in reading, all other skills will be enhanced. Principal Monereau feels that this is an important program whose ultimate aim is to help the students become more proficient readers. Through parent workshops of this kind, he feels it will allow the parents to further understand their children and problems they may encounter in securing a good education.

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