Students in the Rochester City School District enrolled in a new literacy program showed twice as much progress as their peers, according to a recent study by Carol St. George, Ed.D., associate professor and director of the literacy education program at the University of Rochester’s Warner School.
The “Hooked on Literacy” program, which allowed many RCSD first-graders to finish the year at their appropriate reading level, will be the focus of the annual Dyson Day lecture, which takes place at 8 a.m. Wednesday, March 6, in the Class of ’62 Auditorium at the University of Rochester Medical Center, 601 Elmwood Avenue.
UR Medicine’s Hoekelman Center, which hosts the annual Dyson Day lectures on significant community issues, develops methods to train young physicians in community health and advocacy. One area of focus for the Hoekelman Center is literacy, which is a key factor in determining the health and future economic well-being of children. Studies show that children who cannot read at grade level by third grade are less likely to graduate high school; meanwhile, a 2017 report released by the New York State Department of Education shows that the percent of students tested who met or exceeded the state standard on the NYS Grade 3 English exam in RCSD was only ten percent. By comparison, in Brighton it was 64 percent.
“In past years, we have sponsored several Dyson Days devoted to big picture issues, but the feedback we get is that people want to hear about solutions,” said Andrew Aligne, M.D., associate professor of Pediatrics at UR Medicine’s Golisano Children’s Hospital and director of the Hoekelman Center. “And I agree that while we’re waiting for big system changes, it’s important to take small steps forward where we can. However, even in something as fundamental as teaching little kids to read, there is ongoing debate about how to do it. That’s where it’s important to look at the evidence of what works, both from the published research as well as from actual results with children in our community.”
2019 Dyson Day Location and Schedule:
8 to 9 a.m. – Discussion with Carol St. George and her colleagues in The Class of ’62 Auditorium. The auditorium is on URMC’s ground floor, near the School of Medicine and Dentistry.
9 to 11 a.m. – Hoekelman Center physicians discuss their community projects in the Flaum Atrium. All projects are done in partnership with community-based organizations and the topics range from increasing recreational opportunities for local children with disabilities to preventing malaria in West Africa.