Reading Achievement Center
The AIU's Reading Achievement Center (RAC) provides services and support designed to increase student learning and achievement in reading. The center's programs and services offer Allegheny County educators access to professional development, high quality materials and resources to transform and sustain effective reading instruction in grades pre-K to 12.
Programs and Services:
- K-3 Apprenticeship Model
The K-3 Apprenticeship Model is a unique professional development model that supports schools in transforming existing mind-sets regarding teacher training and introducing conditions required for systemic change. The Apprenticeship Model includes rigorous training, expert mentoring and innovative on-site support so educators can learn through theory and extended practical application of proven instructional strategies.
LETRS ® (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) is a professional development program that responds to the need for high-quality literacy educators at all levels. Developed by Louisa C. Moats, Ed.D., LETRS provides the deep foundational knowledge necessary to understand how students learn to read, write and spell—and why some of them struggle. LETRS provides educators with a core understanding of language structure and helps them gain in-depth instructional information to complement their teaching practices. LETRS explains reading instruction by addressing each component—phoneme awareness, oral language development, vocabulary, reading fluency, comprehension and writing. Instruction on the foundational concepts which link these components is delivered through a combination of materials and trainings.
2013-2014 LETRS Training dates have not yet been released.
- Cultivating Comprehension in the Classroom
2013-2014 training dates have not yet been released
This series of workshops is geared towards Reading teachers of grades 3-7. The cost is $600.00 per person.
Cultivating Comprehension I
This workshop focuses exclusively on the literacy domain of reading comprehension. The content is directly aligned with PA standards and PSSA test expectations. Reading pedagogy, evidenced-based instructional practices, writing and professional materials will be shared in a pragmatic framework.
- Cultivating Comprehension II
This workshop is designed for those educators who have completed the Cultivating Comprehension in the Classroom I Series. The series will feature further development of instructional practices introduced in Comprehension I and application to each participant's curriculum with the development of lessons.
- State and Federal Initiatives
The Reading Achievement Center's staff provide services and support associated with the implementation of federal and state mandates. RAC personnel are available to assist districts in meeting the accountability demands of No Child Left Behind and implementation of state initiatives, such as progress monitoring, school improvement, and PSSA analysis and preparation.
- Adolescent Literacy
Unaddressed reading difficulties at the elementary levels lead to multiplied difficulties and inefficient readers at the middle and high school levels. This problem is compounded further by limitations posed by scheduling and teachers' professional expertise in content rather than the reading process or instructional strategies. The AIU's Reading Achievement Center staff offer professional development and on-going classroom support systems designed specifically for middle and high school classrooms to develop teacher understanding and affect instructional practice.
Teachers often need assistance with adapting and differentiating instruction for all levels of learning. ADAPT includes manuals and workshops and other tools to assess students' learning needs. ADAPT also offers models and templates for adapting instruction, and describes processes for differentiating instruction. The manuals are designed for various levels, needs and domains of literacy. Browse the ADAPT webpage.
- PSSA Reading and Writing Preparation
Reading Achievement Center personnel support districts in their efforts to better understand the requirements of the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA). Participants learn the most effective literacy practices that support students in performing well. These practices include examining PSSA content and structure, matching the types of questions and challenges of the PSSA to standards, and engaging in activities that familiarize them with the requirements of the exam. Participants will also learn why and how to use PSSA assessment data to improve instruction.
- Customized Professional Development
The RAC staff offers professional development that is powerful enough to result in increased student achievement. Education specialists assist districts in understanding and implementing of scientifically-based reading research. Sessions are designed around the "big ideas" in reading: phonemic awareness, alphabetic principle, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. Sessions are customized to meet the needs of districts that are willing to commit to on-going and systemic professional development.
- Reading Achievement Center
The RAC includes a lending library of professional literature, samples of effective commercial programs, and other educator resources to supplement and enhance classroom instruction and out-of-school learning. Reading Achievement Center staff are available to assist districts in reviewing curricular and instructional materials.