The initiative, which is currently being implemented, is part of the site plan goals for several of the district's buildings. The MAPS Shared Leadership Team is addressing literacy in part because of its importance to other areas of student success.
"Reading is a critical component of students' success as they progress through their education, which is why we are placing such a large focus on literacy in our district," said Shared Leadership Team members. "We need to constantly work to improve the writing and literacy skills of our students so that they are college and career-ready by the time they graduate."
District schools are engaging in a number of activities to promote literacy, including benchmark assessments, reading incentive programs, reading data folders and programs like Maple Grove Elementary School's "Fired Up to Read," in which volunteer firefighters read to students each Friday. There is also the "Recreational Reader" program sponsored by Les & Jim's Lincoln Lanes, which provides coupons for bowling when students meet reading goals.
In addition, the district utilizes Measures of Academic Progress testing in grades 2-9, which takes place three times per year. Several schools have shared their mid-year data from these tests, and Merrill High School has added a new reading and writing class based on the test results from last year.
"We really want to start teaching students the value of reading at an early age," said Team members. "With a variety of programs and incentives, we are working to make sure that happens."