Sky Marietta, curriculum and instructional specialist at the Pine Mountain Settlement School, presented a program on literacy for the Kentucky mountains at the January 3 Whitesburg Rotary Club meeting. Marietta is a former elementary teacher and co-author of Making Assessment Matter, a book that details how literacy assessment can translate into differentiated instruction at the individual, classroom, and school levels.
Marietta shared with Rotarians her work on the connection between language, culture, poverty, and reading achievement as predictors of children’s future success. She said that children need to be exposed to an environment where reading, writing, and speaking are explicitly taught and practiced every day. She noted that we cannot rely on traditional models of learning for children in rural areas. Children need to have access to books where they can be exposed to various meanings of words they might not experience through normal conversations in the environment and culture in which they live.
The Pine Mountain Settlement School offers a multi-age program called Little School that provides opportunities for enriched center activities to promote language and skill development through talking and reading. Little School not only brings children together, but it allows parents time to share thoughts and ideas about what they are doing to develop their child’s language skills and have ownership in their learning at home. For more information on this and other programs, contact Sky Marietta at (606) 558- 3571 or visit their web site at www.pinemountainsettlementschool.com.