EVENT RECAP: SAReads is "Solving the puzzle of teaching children to read!"

SAReads partners and supporters networked and celebrated during our luncheon hosted by the Omni San Antonio Hotel at The Colonnade in January. General Manager Doak Walker welcomed guests, while community leaders shared their viewpoints and insights. SAReads also announced plans to expand our research-based services to more teachers, preservice teachersfamilies and students.

Congressman Joaquín Castro highlighted how San Antonio's literacy challenges inspired his original summer book drive, which has since evolved into the SAReads Book Bank. He underscored the conundrum our community faces attracting high-paying jobs while ensuring we have educated workers to fill them. The Congressman credited SAReads with tackling the most fundamental challenge facing San Antonio - ensuring our children can read.

Dr. Lloyd Verstuyft, Superintendent of Southwest ISDdiscussed the impact SAReads has on students in his district. He said the greatest gift anyone can give is the "gift of time and a hand up."  Dr. Verstuyft emphasized that SAReads provides these gifts by tutoring students to help them become "great readers, writers and speakers," building students' home libraries, and providing support for parents to "extend learning beyond the school day."  "What began as a ripple has turned into a wave," Dr. Verstuyft said as he graciously acknowledged SAReads as one of the best things to happen to Southwest ISD in the past 65 years!

Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson, President of Texas A&M University-San Antonio, continued by highlighting A&M-SA's six-year partnership with SAReads. She emphasized the critical need for a literacy academy that provides training, coaching and resources so teachers learn to apply science-based reading instruction (SBRI). Dr. Matson explained that more than 1,000 A&M-SA preservice teachers have benefited from SAReads by practicing complex instructional theory while tutoring children learning to read.

SAReads is a collective impact project with many participating organizations working toward a common agenda with shared metrics. Specifically, SAReads is creating a sustainable teacher education channel to systematically increase student reading proficiency and academic achievement. In addition to training teachers, SAReads provides programs to support family engagement, student enrichment and access to books for children and teachers. Next fall, we will develop a prototype elementary school with research-based practices embedded in the school culture.

The January luncheon was a time for SAReads partners and supporters to gather in celebration of our progress and plans. We are grateful to all our SAReads investors for bringing critical training to teachers and reading proficiency to children in Bexar County. Yes, Dr. Verstuyft, the ripple has turned into a wave!

“What began as a ripple has turned into a wave.”
— Dr. Lloyd Verstuyft, SWISD Superintendent

Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson, President of Texas A&M University-San Antonio, continued by highlighting A&M-SA's six-year partnership with SAReads. She emphasized the critical need for a literacy academy that provides training, coaching and resources so teachers learn to apply science-based reading instruction (SBRI). Dr. Matson explained that more than 1,000 A&M-SA preservice teachers have benefited from SAReads by practicing complex instructional theory while tutoring children learning to read.

SAReads is a collective impact project with many participating organizations working toward a common agenda with shared metrics. Specifically, SAReads is creating a sustainable teacher education channel to systematically increase student reading proficiency and academic achievement. In addition to training teachers, SAReads provides programs to support family engagement, student enrichment and access to books for children and teachers. Next fall, we will develop a prototype elementary school with research-based practices embedded in the school culture.

The January luncheon was a time for SAReads partners and supporters to gather in celebration of our progress and plans. We are grateful to all our SAReads investors for bringing critical training to teachers and reading proficiency to children in Bexar County. Yes, Dr. Verstuyft, the ripple has turned into a wave!

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