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Teaching Teachers the Development Reader Assessment Technique Print E-mail
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Thursday, 18 October 2012 00:00

Volunteers in CayoA group of twenty-four volunteers from the United States of America have fanned out to several primary schools in the Cayo District this week to teach teachers about the Development Readers Assessment (DRA). This technique uses sound and word games, and other tools to measure students’ status in reading to differentiate instructions based on that assessment. The missionaries are part of a group of instructors, from the Belize Education Project, now headquartered in Colorado, and are on their sixth mission to Belize. They will be here for one week to continue their solidarity with Belizean teachers to improve the literacy rates of students, say organizers. Their objectives are to improve reading among students; teach teachers to read; provide scholarships, provide the tools for reading and improve general family literacy.

A normal course of the day starts with the volunteers preparing model lessons, so that teachers can come and watch the teaching of their own students. A presentation is also made to teachers. Parents are also involved in the process, with group instructions designed just for them.

Thus far, says Jean Kirrshner, leader of the Belize Education Project, some twenty thousand books have been donated to students. Also, Belizean teachers have been hosted by U.S families and have had opportunities, while there, to visit model classrooms.

Kirrshner adds that parents have a crucial role in the development of the reading abilities of their children by challenging them to read every day. Parents were learning how to do just that at the Santa Elena Seventh Day Adventist Primary School Lower Division on Tuesday, October 16th.