2020 Vision: Implementing the READ ACT
By Joyce Rankin, Colorado Board of Education
On January 8 at 10 a.m., the Colorado Legislature convened the 72nd General Assembly. The Colorado Constitution states that the regular session must begin no later than the second Wednesday in January and must adjourn within 120 calendar days.
There are also special sessions that are called to extend the regular session, but that is very rare.
While the legislature commenced Under the Dome, I was Across the Street attending a State Board of Education meeting. This year the board will write rules to accompany the education bills passed in the last session. Senate Bill 199 (SB19-199) or The Reading to Ensure Academic Development (READ) Act was of great interest, not only because all one hundred legislators voted to pass it, but because of my background as a teacher. That bill also addressed the fact that only 40% of our fourth graders are reading at grade level. Since passage of the bill I’ve been traveling around the district sharing how the READ act can help students become better readers and what the bill means to parents, teachers, and the community.
One of the ways parents/teachers/community members can learn about newer, more reliable, evidence-based methods to teach children how to read is to take a class. However, who has the time?
I felt the same way until I found a FREE online MOOC. A MOOC is an acronym for Massive Open Online Course. MOOCs are free, and a person only needs an email address to sign up. I wanted to take the course to understand what teachers needed to learn under the READ Act, and I wanted to receive a certificate for taking the class. The Friday Institute out of North Carolina State College of Education offers a MOOC called Teaching Foundational Reading Skills. The course clearly explains what the evidence-based reading program is all about and how adults using the program can successfully raise the reading ability of students from Kindergarten through the third grade.
This was the message that I took to schools and libraries throughout the third congressional district. When students are taught to read, according to the requirements of the READ Act, they will have the most critical component and increased opportunity for success.
When I visited Pueblo, community members in attendance included the Superintendent, school board members, teachers, and community members. Dr. Margaret Wright, a member of the Pueblo 60 school board, attended that session. I recently spoke with Dr. Wright. Having been a reading teacher in two Title I schools, she understands the importance of proper reading instruction, not only K-3 but as a part of the whole K-12 learning experience. She shared an “A-Ha” moment that came about as a result of taking the MOOC course and realizing that this resource is available free and can be accessed from anywhere by computer. She has become even more passionate about the importance of evidence-based reading instruction to ensure student success.
As the legislative session progresses, I’ll be continuing to meet with communities sharing some of the ways they can support what students should be learning in the classroom.
Joyce Rankin is on the State Board of Education representing the Third Congressional District which includes Leadville and Lake County. She writes the monthly column, “Across the Street” to share with constituents in the 29 counties she represents. The Department of Education, where the State Board of Education meets, is located across the street from the Capitol. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Snow Artist to Visit Students Wednesday
International renown Snow Artist Simon Beck will be visiting with local students and – weather permitting – be creating new snow drawing in a nearby field. The afternoon will start with a 1:30 p.m. presentation at the Lake County High School where Leadville students will discover more about this one-of-a-kind artist and the art form he developed which has been on display all around the world.
“As a ‘gifted child’ I was supposed to do well at school, read books, etc., but even if I liked polyhedra, I wanted to be outdoors, playing soccer, climbing trees, running through the woods and hiking to the top of every hill in sight. And there was always the special attraction of snow,” writes Beck in his book Simon Beck: Snow Art.
Beck who is from Southern England and presently lives in the French Alps has been in Leadville since January 16 creating his one-of-kind snow drawings in the fields around Leadville, including the massive one being done at the Leadville Airport on Monday, Jan. 20. His work will continue in southern Lake County this weekend when Twin Lakes will become his canvas. Readers can find the most up-to-date info on the Snow Artist UPDATES Page.
CO Cup at CMC Next Weekend
Colorado Mountain College (CMC) Leadville will host the 10th annual Colorado Cup Snowshoe Races on Jan. 25 on the campus’s groomed Nordic trails.
This year is particularly significant because the Colorado Cup, which also serves as the Colorado High School Snowshoe State Championship 5K, is a qualifier for racers competing in the upcoming 2020 Dion Snowshoes U.S. National Snowshoe Championships. The national races will take place in Leadville Feb. 28-March 1, 2020.
The Colorado Cup has taken place since 2009 under various names and in different locations, and has been the state high school snowshoe championship since 2010. Since 2016 it’s been held in Leadville, where CMC students are active participants. Ski area operations students work on prepping the course, and CMC cross-country running team members, along with other students, enjoy competing and hosting a day at the races.
CMC Leadville is at 901 S. Highway 24; registration is taking place in the campus’s Coronado Cafe. For more information about the race, contact Darren Brungardt at 719-486-4296 or email@example.com. To register.
Colorado Cup – Jan. 25, CMC Leadville
Race fees range from $10 to $30, with all profits going to the CMC cross-country running team.
Schedule of Events – January 25
- 10 a.m.
- Fat bike individual time trial
- Race packet pickup
- 1:30 p.m.
- Unlimited snowshoe sprints
- 2 p.m.
- 5K adult snowshoe
- 5K middle and high school student snowshoe
- 10K snowshoe
- 10K college student snowshoe
- 1 mile kids’ “funshoe”
- After races
- Post-race treats
For more information and to register, CONNECT HERE.