Thursday, September 1, 2016

Atlanta Speech School debuts new video as part of a movement to stop the illiteracy epidemic


Video shows the impact of how adults talk with children

The Atlanta Speech School, one of the nation’s most comprehensive centers for language and literacy, is calling for a change in the ecosystems of schools to encourage brain development and literacy. As part of this call to action, it has launched a compelling new video titled “Every opportunity,” which demonstrates how changes in adult behavior, both inside and outside of the classroom, can enhance a child's approach and her ability to learn.


“Everyone a child meets throughout the day can make a difference – all the difference,” said Comer Yates, Executive Director of the Atlanta Speech School. “Every time a child is ignored, or yelled at or silenced, a teacher takes away what is possible. As the video exemplifies, each of these moments can be missed opportunities to empower a child and develop their vocabulary.”

The video stars a young boy who explains what it feels like when an adult ignores him or loses patience with him. It also offers examples for how teachers, school bus drivers, and school staff can make the most of every interaction with students to help them discover their voice, and the power of that voice for a lifetime. This video is the sequel to the award-winning 2020 Promise Video about the power of language and literacy well before kindergarten begins.

“There are millions of children across the country whose brains and hearts are prepared to be citizens of the world but are met with instruction in preschool and beyond that doesn’t match the latest science,” said Yates. “The way we train our teachers should be about empowerment and that is what the Atlanta Speech School is committed to both inside our school walls, and in classrooms in Atlanta and around the United States.”

To make the video a reality, The Rollins Center for Language & Literacy at the Atlanta Speech School is committed to providing Georgia educators with the tools to successfully achieve “The 2020 Promise” – a state-wide expectation that, by the year 2020, all of Georgia’s children will be on a path to reading proficiently by the end of third grade. The Rollins Center through its Read Right From the Start initiative offers professional development programs to teachers either onsite, or online at no charge through its Cox Campus portal. These courses reach approximately 11,000 teachers, parents, and caregivers. While developed for Georgia teachers, the program is utilized by teachers in all 50 states. Courses for kindergarten through third grade teachers are being added and will be complete before the 2017-18 school year.

The new video can be shared with caregivers, teachers, bus drivers, and coaches to show how important it is to engage children in a positive conversation at every opportunity to help them find their own voices so they can become who they are meant to be.
For video subtitles in French and Spanish, click on the closed captioning (cc) button in the bottom right corner of the video on YouTube and change your language using the gear button for settings next to the cc button.

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About the Atlanta Speech School:
Positioned at the intersection of brain science and social science, the Atlanta Speech School effects transformative change in the lives of children and adults through research-based practices, innovation, advocacy, and partnerships with other organizations so that each child at the Atlanta Speech School and every child in Georgia can acquire the language and literacy abilities essential for deciding his or her own future. Established in 1938, the Atlanta Speech School is one of the nation's most comprehensive centers for language and literacy. Composed of four schools, five clinics, summer programs and a professional development center, each division shares one common mission: to work within each program and collaborate across all programs to help each person develop his or her full potential through language and literacy. Each day, extraordinarily dedicated and talented individuals make profound differences in the lives of the children and adults they serve helping them discover their voice, and the power of that voice for a lifetime.

The Rollins Center for Language & Literacy provides professional development for teachers of children birth through third grade. Partnering with public and private organizations and with a reach of more than 11,000 teachers, parents and caregivers through the online Cox Campus, the center delivers effective language and literacy strategies used to transform young lives.


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