The Arcadia Community Learning Center provides instruction to area school students who have difficulty with reading and writing. Individual and/or small group instruction is provided to students currently enrolled in or entering grades 1 through 6. The Center helps students to become more competent and confident in their literacy skills. The primary emphasis is to engage students through authentic reading and writing experiences. The program is conducted in an atmosphere of expectation of success, with supervised, knowledgeable and experienced instructors who are at the final completion phase of obtaining Reading Specialist Certification in Pennsylvania.
Strategic Reading Instruction
Reading instruction focuses on the areas of phonological awareness, fluency, word analysis, vocabulary, and comprehension. This instruction is provided while reading stories and informational books, and then these skills are applied to learning about a particular area of student interest and developing special theme-related projects.
Teachers recognize that students bring a unique background of experiences to reading activities. Students are taught how to use these unique experiences in helping them to understand what they read. Students learn to read for different purposes and to use information to accomplish different tasks. They also learn strategies to monitor their own progress in understanding what they read.
Teachers work with students to assess their phonemic awareness and word analysis skills and use this assessment to strategically build a repertoire of tools for identifying words. Spelling knowledge is embedded in word analysis lessons. Fluency is developed through ongoing progress monitoring during engaging activities to build word recognition skills as well as comprehension.
Writing instruction primarily focuses on literary response, a system in which students develop writing skills by reacting to what they are reading. Close attention is paid to spelling, as it relates to word analysis and phonics, and to using standard writing conventions to communicate clearly.
All students who enroll in the Arcadia Community Learning Center are given initial standardized and informal assessments to discern their strengths and needs, perceptions about reading, and background experiences in reading and writing. Ongoing assessment continues in the classroom as teachers observe and reflect on how students read and write. Students are provided opportunities to assess their own progress by working with teachers to assemble a Literacy Portfolio; this is a collection of their work across the semester. Teachers use the information from these portfolios and ongoing progress monitoring to adjust instruction to best meet the needs of each student.
Parents have a special role to play in the literacy development of their children. They are encouraged to be active participants in shared reading experiences at home and contribute to the assessment profile of their children. Parents and students are made aware of the goals of the instructional program, progress made, and recommendations for further instruction.
Classes meet at Arcadia University's Glenside campus starting the last week of June until the end of July, Monday through Thursday mornings, 9 a.m. to noon.
Arcadia Community Learning Center
Kathy Wirth, Ph.D. ACLC Student Coordinator
Taylor Hall, Room 313
450 S. Easton Road
Glenside, PA 19038