North Union Secondary opens Literacy Development Centre
February 26, 2010
North Union Secondary opens Literacy Development Centre

THE North Union Secondary School’s Literacy programme got a much needed boost with the opening of the Literacy Development Centre last Thursday, February 18.{{more}}

According to school officials, the $26,000 facility is expected to enhance Literacy instructions, through the use of modern teaching aids.

The facility boasts both visual and audio aids, as the use of phonics is being proposed as the first step in helping students learn to read.

Principal St Clair DaSantos said that the school was facing new challenges since the implementation of universal access to education in 2005.

He said the addition of the centre will assist with accomplishing many objectives which include improving literacy levels of the bottom 50 percent of the student population of grade 7 to grade 10 by at least two grade levels in the first year of existence; create and sustain a ‘reading buddies’ programme among the student body; reduce antisocial behaviour in students and to conduct frequent parent workshops.

It is proposed that there will be one parent workshop scheduled per academic term.

“Never before were teachers called upon to teach entire classes with students with more than 4 grade level deficits in reading,” DaSantos said as he outlined why such a facility was needed.

He disclosed that for the academic year 2007-2008, over 58 per cent of the new entrants to the school were reading below the grade 4 level, a trend DaSantos said continues into this new academic year.

Additionally, teaching in a classroom setting proved challenging, this according to the school’s administrator, who said that staff efforts were being hindered by constant tardiness, absenteeism and the usually frequent occurrence of fights.

The lack of support on the part of most parents means that the school is forced to come up with a solution to the problem.