At The Jim Walters Literacy Library inside our school, children have access to a vast collection of books for every reading level and every interest of each students.
We have a retired children’s librarian volunteer, Mrs. Kitty, who maintains our collection, provides library time for students, and works collaboratively with teachers to provide books that are relevant to our learner population.
Mrs. Kitty has designated library time each week for our students. In addition to this weekly library time, students are encouraged to visit the library more often if they want.
New and current titles are added monthly to our library collection to keep our library up to date with the newest titles. When adding to our library, student and teacher choice are highly considered when selecting to ensure all new additions offer students books of their interests and at their reading level.
All students are required to read 1000 pages per month and to complete 10 response journals that correspond to books read during each month. Reading response journals and instructions are provided by the student's home room teacher and may differ for each classroom.
At the end of each month, Reading Celebrations are held in each classroom to celebrate students making the 1000 page goal. At the end of each quarter, there is a big Reading Celebration schoolwide to celebrate meeting the reading goal.
Past Reading Celebrations have included magic shows, a foam party, Nerf games, field trips, and water day.
Because each student is required to read 1,000 pages each month, we want to ensure that we are equipping our students and parents with the right reading resources. In addition to our library to offer books to be checked out for free to each student, we also offer Learning Ally as a free resource to our students. Learning Ally is an online audiobook platform for Dyslexia and learning disabilities.
This online platforms reads books aloud to the children like other audio books. However, Learning Ally displays words on the screens as well as illustrations as provided for readers to follow along. Based on your student's reading level and interests, our teachers often recommend books in students' Learning Ally library.
We use the Wilson Reading System® (WRS) curriculum for our reading instruction. Wilson is an evidence-based, internationally implemented reading program designed specifically for dyslexic students.
While many other schools across the nation teach the WRS, including public schools, at Academy of Innovation, all of our reading teachers are Wilson® Dyslexia Practitioners. In addition, all teachers at AOI are either Wilson® Dyslexia Practitioners or Orton-Gillingham-certified. The Wilson Reading System® certification includes trainings, practicums, as well as continued Wilson trainings/conferences to be up-to-date on all resources.
In addition, our WRS classes offer small classes. Students have WRS instruction daily in groups as small as two and never more than six. Our average Wilson class size is four. This allows for differentiated learning and one-on-one time with your student to go at their pace based on their reading ability. Students will be placed with other students similar to their reading levels rather than the traditional school grade system.