Yukon First Nation School Board announces changes to literacy program

The Yukon First Nation School Board has announced that it will be making changes to the way that students are taught to read. After reflecting on data about literacy rates in the Yukon, trustees revised the school board’s literacy programs to better support student learning. The new approach sees schools moving away from “balanced literacy,” where students look for context clues or use the first letter of the word to figure out what the word might be, to a “structured literacy” approach that teaches students skills such as phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Teachers will receive training ahead of the school year and literacy coaches will visit schools to offer support. “It’s really empowering for kids who are learning to read, especially for kids who need that really explicit road map into the really, you know, quirky world that can be the written English language,” said executive director of the LDAY Centre for Learning Stephanie Hammond.