Navin Elementary School teachers' participation in a pilot literacy training program is reaping benefits both inside and outside the district.

Navin Elementary School teachers' participation in a pilot literacy training program is reaping benefits both inside and outside the district.

The training was done at the school last fall, but has since been shared with other districts statewide and throughout the country through the Literacy Collaborative at The Ohio State University. Navin teachers gave presentations at both programs.

The Literacy Collaborative is a comprehensive school reform project designed to improve the reading, writing and language skills of elementary school children. Program partners come from around the country.

The initial training was paid for through a grant from the Ohio Department of Education. Literacy Collaborative trainer Tina Henry had devised concepts for the training, but the process was developed on-site at Navin.

"It didn't even have a name," principal Lynette Lewis said.

Teachers at all grade levels were able to observe other teachers at their grade-levels doing a lesson with struggling readers from their classes. A team including teachers, Henry, Lewis and Marysville director of elementary curriculum Carla Steele viewed video footage of the sessions and created new lesson plans that were delivered to the same students the following day.

"We saw kids do an immediate shift in reading skills," Lewis said.

"The teachers were able to target barriers to reading and work together to find ways to overcome them," Navin literacy coach Amey McGlenn added. "We actually saw some of the kids correcting their own reading errors."

"We saw not just a change in learning by the kids but also a change in focus by the teachers," kindergarten teacher KateWalters said.

Lewis said she believes the training helped students with last year's state test scores.

"We've been able to use some of the tools and concepts to work with every reader," Walters explained.

Because they participated at the ground-floor level, Navin teachers have helped present information about this professional development program twice through the Literacy Collaborative.

Last spring, Navin teachers re-created the training for members of the Literacy Collaborative. Last month, teachers participated in a workshop for literacy coordinators from around the country.

Steele said districts around the state and country are working on ways to adapt the training for their schools. She added that Marysville hopes to bring the training to the rest of the district's elementary schools.

"Every other school wants to do this," she said, adding that other schools don't have the benefit of the grant funding that Navin did, meaning the training needs to be retooled for use in other buildings.