Literacy gains garner recognition for Westside Middle School

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

"I think they're seeing this is an important part of education," said 7th grade middle school Reading teacher at Westside Middle School, Norma Clayton.

Westside Middle School is receiving national recognition for a key part of education... Literacy.

It's receiving a "Just for Kids" award recognizing the gains in Literacy from 4th to 5th grade students.

"It's always a push to making them better, to make them think," said Clayton.

"It's not just the Literacy teachers, it's all teachers that basically have worked hard to push Literacy," said middle school principal, Pam Dooley.

Pushing Literacy across the curriculum is something Dooley says has helped students become even better, more frequent readers, inside and outside the classroom.

"This is the second time the middle school has received the award and basically they look at the data and they look to see the gains that the school has made," said Dooley.

Gains Dooley is proud of.  She says recently awarded grant money will also help enhance resources used to help teach literacy in the classroom.

"We're focusing on how to bridge the gap between the boy and girl readers and writers, and we're incorporating that in our Social Studies class too," said Dooley.

The "Just for Kids" award and the 100 thousand dollars in grant money are two separate awards, but Dooley says both show the school is on the right track. The grant money is funding resources to help that continue.  The money will buy computer-related materials, even ipods--using modern equipment now--that will carry these students well into the future.

"Just because our kids do come from a rural area, we don't want them to be behind and this just sort of levels the playing field," said Clayton.

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