Leading with an Equity Lens: Mobile Literacy Clinic

Posted on: Wed, 08/07/2019 - 14:00

The Board of Education created Educational Equity Policy 444 to ensure that FCPS endeavored to create equitable learning opportunities for all students. I have charged leaders throughout FCPS to “lead with an equity lens,” and I witnessed that happen today!

children learning alphabetThe Mobile Literacy Clinic drove down the street, and the honking horn prompted young students to run excitedly from their homes!  Excited about practicing reading?  Absolutely!!

Staff members from Valley Elementary School invited students inside to read and practice essential reading skills that can easily be forgotten over a long summer. Led by Literacy Specialist Jill Barnes (who, you may remember, actually won the Farmers’ Insurance Company contest to purchase the RV that houses the Mobile Literacy Clinic), a team of teachers—Jessica Sparacino, Courtney Souders, Christine Pullen and Cindy Newmeyer—worked with small groups of students from several grades. Students were eager to read and practice, as their smiling faces demonstrated. Principal Tracy Poquette was there supporting the team along with Instructional Director Kathy Prichard.

They managed to fill every nook and cranny in the RV, and I think that was part of the fun. Mrs. Barnes proudly shared with me that they had fit 24 people inside at one of their stops. That’s right, the Mobile Literacy Clinic makes 3 stops every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Two of the stops are in neighborhoods where transportation is a challenge for families, and one stop is at the school’s parking lot.

An added bonus for this stop was the partnership with Frederick County Public Libraries. As students finished their work in the Mobile Literacy Clinic, they bounded home to get their library books to exchange at the Bookmobile. Even younger siblings came to peruse the books and make selections for the week ahead.

I am confident that the teacher leaders from Valley ES will be able to document the reading performance of students who are benefiting from the reinforcement the Mobile Literacy Clinic provides.  What they cannot measure is the joy this opportunity brings to the students and their families, but you could see it and feel it all around!

To me, that is equity in action!

photo of Dr. Alban and the Mobile Literacy Clinic