Marietta Educators Lead Georgia’s Shift to Structured Literacy in Reading Education

As she goes about her day at Marietta’s A.L. Burruss Elementary School, Principal Jillian Johnson exemplifies both parental devotion and strong leadership. Being a parent herself, Johnson is very involved in her school community, going above and beyond administrative responsibilities. She has two Burruss Beavers, Elizabeth, who is in third grade, and Caroline, who is in kindergarten.

Johnson saw the unique reading curriculum that teachers at Burruss are championing during a recent visit to Caroline’s kindergarten class. Under Mrs. Lauri Bruton’s guidance, the kindergartners enthusiastically engaged in class discussions on sentence structure and grammar as they explored the complexities of punctuation.

Structured literacy, which Burruss Elementary has adopted, is different from more conventional methods of teaching reading and writing because it places more emphasis on teaching students how words are formed from individual letters and their sounds. The prior balanced literacy paradigm depended on context hints and autonomous discovery; this change represents a departure from that.

Burruss children made significant improvements in their reading skills, which Principal Johnson attributes to the revolutionary effect of organized literacy on student accomplishment. As evidence of the new method’s effectiveness, third graders at Burruss made outstanding strides on statewide examinations.

Structured literacy is a catalyst for students’ entire development, according to Johnson and her colleagues. It signifies more than simply a change in pedagogical paradigm. In light of third grade’s significance as a turning point for early readers, Johnson stresses the need of fostering children’ identity development in tandem with their academic progress.

Many have taken note of Marietta City Schools’ achievements. Their success prompted legislators in Georgia to pass House Bill538, which would require all public schools in the state to use organized literacy techniques. Marietta has established itself as a pioneer in reading teaching, leading the way in innovation and quality.

Aside from Georgia, structured literacy has a nationwide influence, with Mississippi serving as a prime illustration of its efficacy. The dedication to structured literacy in Mississippi, led by forward-thinking individuals like former state superintendent Carey Wright, has received international praise, comparable to the status of sports legends like Michael Jordan.

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Teachers in Marietta are leading the charge to better literacy results, and their perseverance and creativity are showing the world how transformational education can change the lives of students.

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