Local educators describe reading program at national conference local news moultrieobserver.com post secondary level education

MOULTRIE, ga. — four educators from colquitt county schools traveled to savannah recently to present at the 29th annual national youth at risk conference, which brings people who serve youth together from across the nation to learn from each other.

Tabathia baldy, director of response to intervention (rti) and positive behavioral interventions/supports (PBIS), gray junior high school principal frederick T. Smith, williams middle school assistant principal kristen harrison, and colquitt county high school teacher betsy jones gave a presentation on improving literacy skills for students in grades 6-12.

“having the opportunity to share what we do cements my belief that we are moving in the direction that is best for our learners to address deficiencies in reading and empower them with reading strategies they can use today, tomorrow, and beyond,” said smith.National youth risk conference

“during our presentation, it was evident many schools across the nation are facing the same challenges we are, but colquitt county should be proud its teachers are doing all they can to turn this challenge into an opportunity.”

The presentation covered the district’s three-year plan for implementing extended learning time (ELT) during the school day during which every teacher and student is engaged in a research-based reading strategy matched to each student’s individual level of need. Leaders from CCHS, gray, and williams shared the unique characteristics of ELT at their schools, as well as operational barriers and success stories.

“I am proud to share with other educators from across the nation what we are doing at willie J. Williams middle school to help improve literacy,” said harrison. “we want our students not only to learn to read, but to love to read, and we will continue to work collaboratively from preschool to 12th grade to achieve this goal.”

colquitt county

Baldy and jones also facilitated a second session on literacy interventions in grades 6-12 during which participants learned experienced firsthand three reading and writing intervention strategies currently used at all four secondary schools in colquitt county.

“it is exciting to be able to share the work that we are doing at the high school during extended learning time,” said jones. “I appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with williams and gray to present our results and strategies at the national youth at risk conference.”

Additionally, baldy was invited by the conference committee to serve as a panel expert, alongside other educators from georgia, tennessee, and mississippi, for a discussion on the challenges facing rural education and solutions for overcoming the barriers faced by rural students and teachers.

Founded by georgia southern university’s college of education, the national youth at risk conference trains adults who serve youth to create empowering educational environments for all children and adolescents.National youth risk this year, the conference had 120 presentations by nationally and internationally recognized presenters and was attended by more than 1,200 participants from across the united states who learned about research-based programs and strategies for overcoming at-risk conditions that threaten the safety, health, emotional needs, and academic achievement of today’s youth.

Colquitt county schools will be hosting the south georgia multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) conference on june 6 at colquitt county high school to address many of these same concerns. Educators, as well as anyone working with youth are invited to attend. The cost to attend is $25, and participants may register at https://tinyurl.Com/2018sgmtssregistration.