Early Literacy Intervention Now for Future Education Success

“We confidently can say that with the aide’s help, our students are able to achieve more and receive more differentiation, which is imperative for the growth of all students.”

—Phantom Lake Elementary Kindergarten Team

Project Readiness is currently focused on early literacy intervention in schools serving Bellevue’s low-income neighborhoods. Our community-wide goal is to help every child reading proficiently by third grade. This milestone marks the transition from children learning to read to reading to learn. To achieve this goal, we must support our young learners and sustain this support.

Project READiness provides trained educational aides to work with groups of children in kindergarten and first grade, freeing the classroom teacher to provide individual and small group instruction to students who need help with literacy fundamentals. Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) provide rapid screening and progress monitoring to help the teacher identify specific areas where students need help.

Although this intervention may seem basic, public funding does not provide for it. Bellevue Schools Foundation donors have funded this targeted intervention at the kindergarten level for a number of years, resulting in a significant increase in literacy skills. Prior to this intervention at Stevenson Elementary, only 35% of students met end-of-year literacy benchmarks. With the first year of intervention, over 90% of kindergarten students met or exceeded these benchmarks. This success has been repeated at the additional five elementary schools served by Project READiness.

The Foundation works to coordinate with the Bellevue School District Title I program and other programs that support achievement in struggling populations. In addition, the Foundation collaborates with other organizations that provide or coordinate social services, such as the City of Bellevue and Eastside Pathways, to maximize collective impact to Bellevue students in need.

With your help, we can change student achievement trajectories and support all children on their path towards graduation and success in college and career of their choosing.

Learn more about the impact of Project READiness through this speech about the program at Ardmore Elementary.