Thanks to recent funding, the May Center School for Autism and Developmental Disabilities in West Springfield, Mass., has acquired educational materials, such as electronic curricula, iPads and apps, and books for children of all ages, to enhance our ability to provide reading instruction to every student who needs it. The goal of the Literacy Initiative is to improve students’ literacy skills, including reading and related skills such as language development, reading fluency, and reading comprehension.
For example, our new Reading Mastery materials allow more opportunities for reading instruction throughout the classrooms. Edmark materials provide additional reading teaching strategies for students who are not ready for Reading Mastery but are showing signs of reading readiness. And our digital-leveled reading library offers access to thousands of books to practice and support reading!
Students can access the digital library through multiple devices, including iPads to help individualize their learning experiences. The iPads allow the teachers to make modifications and accommodations to the digital reading materials to better support the needs of each student receiving reading instruction.
Looking ahead— our next steps include building up the instructional library to continue to develop student reading skills. In order to encourage practice and generalization (i.e., being able to take skills developed in one context and apply them in a different context), we are working to provide books at all instructional levels that can be shared between home and school so parents can work on reading with their children at home.
Our goal is to continue to purchase the most appropriate materials to continue the growth of reading skills across the school. The Literacy Initiative was funded through the generosity of the Horace A. Moses Charitable Trust, the Nora Roberts Foundation, the Charles H. Hall Foundation, the Beveridge Family Foundation, and the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation.