The Vaughn Gross Center’s Texas Literacy Initiative project is starting to see results, thanks in no small part to the expertise of team members like Michelle Lambert-Yuhasz.
The Texas Literacy Initiative works to improve the school readiness and success in language and literacy of disadvantaged students in targeted local education agencies and their associated early childhood education providers. One such local education agency is Pilot Point Independent School District, a 1,500-student district about 50 miles north of Dallas. Among her duties as the state literacy liaison for Pilot Point, Lambert-Yuhasz supports the district’s literacy coaches, Shelly Kozma and Lorene Reid.
According to Tammy Morgan, director of instructional services for Pilot Point, Lambert-Yuhasz has already made a positive impact on the district’s literacy coaches. “Since [Lambert-Yuhasz] met with Shelly, [Shelly] has been on fire,” Morgan said. “She’s helped the whole intermediate school get Istation up and running, and [she led] a mini-professional development at our middle school faculty meeting.
“And Lorene has led half-day planning sessions with K–3,” Morgan continued. “These sessions help the teachers to see what Lorene had been talking about putting into action. For some, it was exactly what they needed to buy in to the new way of structuring their classrooms.”
As Pilot Point demonstrates, the Texas Literacy Initiative has accomplished a great deal in a short amount of time, but according to Morgan, the best is yet to come.
“One of our greatest highlights has been the team coming out to observe and debrief with our teachers,” she said. “I have been researching the instructional coaching model and wholeheartedly believe that it is a missing link in our district. We are super excited about deepening our relationship with the Vaughn Gross Center and all of its wonderful services.”
For more information on the project, visit the Texas Literacy Initiative page of the Texas Education Agency website.