2017 Teacher Winner
SCHOOL: Boyd Elementary School, Atlanta Public Schools
Shirlene Jones wanted to teach struggling students. She started her own in home daycare in 1987. In 1991, she started a free preschool at her son’s elementary school. In 1993, she became an assistant teacher. In 1998, she became a Pre-kindergarten lead teacher, at a school with high poverty, crime, sexual and physical abuse and low education status. In 2011, she graduated with her B.S. degree in Early Education/Special Education. In 2013 she began teaching kindergarten.
PROJECT: A Pack of Fun
Reading is Fundamental! This is a famous saying we have heard often. But before a child learns to read there are many other factors that affect a child’s ability to read. Before a child learns to read, the child needs to be exposed to rich and meaningful language. Building their vocabulary and language skill begins with their parents talking to them, reading to them, answering their many questions. My goal is to help parents become their child’s true “first teacher” by giving them the ability and resources to help. According to research on why students struggle with reading there is a positive correlation between parental involvement on a foundational level in a child’s academic success.
My project will connect students’ homes with books with activities to be completed at home. The students will take a literacy pack home for the week to be completed with their parent. The literacy packs are designed to be fun and informative ways for families to share literacy and learning experiences at home. The packs will have standard-based materials that go home in a special pack with books and activities. The parents will get experience on how to work with their children on literacy skills which will include phonological awareness and vocabulary development.