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Parents encouraged to learn more about new literacy program during family workshop

Press release from Alachua County Public Schools

The families of Alachua County Public Schools kindergarten, first- and second-grade students are encouraged to learn more about the new literacy program being used in elementary schools throughout the district to help students become better readers and better writers. 

An online workshop will be held this coming Monday, December 6, to share information about the new UFLI (University of Florida Literacy Institute) Foundations program. UFLI Foundations, which was developed by the UF College of Education, has been implemented in all K-2 classrooms this year. Parents will also be provided with strategies they can use at home to support their child’s reading development. 

UFLI Foundations is a phonics-based curriculum that teachers use in their classrooms daily. The program incorporates multi-sensory teaching, including verbal repetition, movement, and other activities to reinforce the lessons. Teachers can also put their own unique spin on the lessons, such as songs or props.

 “It’s unlike any other traditional reading program we’ve had in the past,” said Morgan Douglas, a 1st-grade teacher at Newberry Elementary School. “It gives children the tools to be independent readers and really build a strong foundation in reading.”

Because the program is used in all K-2 classrooms, it also helps students who move to a different school during the academic year. 

“When a new student comes in, we have to figure out where they are and how to meet their needs,” said Metcalfe Elementary School principal Christiana Robbins. “With this program, everyone is on the same page, and that consistency helps create a smooth transition when a student transfers to a different school.”

The staff at UFLI visit schools regularly to help teachers implement the Foundations program in their classrooms. Dr. Holly Lane leads UFLI, and she says the teacher response to the program so far has been overwhelmingly positive. 

“I think the teachers are recognizing that this is something that works and that their kids are responding to it really well,” said Lane. “Some of our teachers have told us that this is the kids’ favorite part of the day, which to me says everything.”

The UFLI Foundations Family Webinar is scheduled for 7 p.m. on December 6 on Zoom. Families will need to register at . They will then receive a link to the webinar.

A video about UFLI Foundations is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkD11N-JBv4 

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