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Supporting Michigan Learners Toward Excellence in Reading
This documentary, produced with Detroit Public Television, explores strategies used by two Michigan districts to accelerate reading growth for young learners. In the program, educators and leaders from Detroit Public Schools Community District discus ...
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Supporting Michigan educators and school leaders in integrating evidence-based strategies and culturally responsive practices into K–1 literacy instruction, with a focus on phonological awareness and phonics. Learn more
REL Midwest will test the usability, feasibility, and acceptability of a package of professional learning opportunities for kindergarten and grade 1 teachers called Strategies to Improve Reading (STIR). STIR has multiple components, including (a) a summer institute; (b) a facilitated professional learning community; and (c) on-site, job-embedded coaching. STIR is designed to support effective instruction in phonics and phonological awareness; data collection and use to inform literacy instruction and intervention; and effective leadership practices for literacy for kindergarten and grade 1 teachers and school leaders. To understand whether STIR is usable, feasible, and acceptable to educators, the research team will conduct surveys and interviews with teachers, school leaders, and district leaders; collect data from artifacts used during the professional learning opportunities; and collect student test scores. The research team will produce multiple deliverables, including a report, a blog post, an infographic, and presentations to district stakeholders.
The STIR partnership works with educators to improve the implementation of instructional routines and data-based decision making related to phonological awareness and phonics in K-2 classrooms. Improving students' skills in phonological awareness and phonics will help them become fluent readers capable of making meaning from text. STIR currently works with Lansing Public Schools and Battle Creek Public Schools in Michigan with an aim of scaling up to additional Michigan districts during the five-year contract. This work is done in partnership with the Michigan Department of Education.

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