Lufkin, TX: The T.L.L. Temple Foundation (TLLTF) has awarded Instruction Partners a three-year $1,397,626 grant to support six rural school districts in East Texas. Through this grant, Instruction Partners will help school leaders strengthen curriculum, assessments, instructional practices, and teacher support. Instruction Partners is expanding their work to Buna, Broaddus, and Warren independent school districts — building upon their successful work with Newton, Woodville, and West Sabine school districts.
A recently released report from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) regarding state assessments documented the negative impact of COVID on student learning over the past two years, which is slowly recovering for third grade reading. Many districts, however, still need additional support in early literacy instruction. TEA has made early literacy a state priority by requiring 60 hours of Reading Academy training for all in-service kinder through third-grade teachers, but that training is just one part of the solution. School districts must still consider curriculum alignment and high-quality instructional materials to effectively implement evidenced-based early literacy instruction at a schoolwide level.
“Instruction Partners has the experience and resources to support systemic changes in early literacy. Their work engages campus leaders to consider and adopt schoolwide best practices in curriculum, coaching, and mentoring among other initiatives that support the state’s focus on early literacy instruction and achievement,” said Wynn Rosser, TLLTF’s president and CEO. “Instruction Partners has demonstrated success at building instructional leadership to increase academic attainment, assisting districts in choosing high-quality instructional materials, and making monitoring and continuous improvement a daily activity to improve instruction.”
“We are so thankful for the generous support of the T.L.L. Temple Foundation to develop a better understanding of what it looks like, in practice, to support reading instruction that meets the needs of each and every student,” said Ben Fenton, Chief of Growth & Delivery for Instruction Partners. “We’re excited to support many more schools, leaders, and teachers in this work and look forward to a future in whichall East Texas students are reading proficiently by the third grade.”
This strategic work is part of the foundation’s early literacy strategic initiative which began in 2021 and includes a multi-sector approach to improve early literacy. Current partners include Deans for Impact to improve the alignment of teacher preparation programs to evidence-based instruction at three East Texas universities (Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston, and Texas A&M Texarkana), TNTP (The New Teacher Project) to assist Education Service Centers Regions 5 & 7 to develop Alternative Teacher Certification programs of choice, and Instruction Partners to assist school instructional leaders to implement and support school wide evidence-based early literacy instruction.
About T.L.L. Temple Foundation: The T.L.L. Temple Foundation works alongside rural communities to build a thriving East Texas and to alleviate poverty, creating access and opportunities for all. Since its founding in 1962 by Mrs. Georgie Temple Munz, the T.L.L. Temple Foundation has invested more than $500 million primarily to strengthen communities in rural East Texas. For more information about the foundation, visit www.tlltemple.foundation.
About Instruction Partners: Instruction Partners is a nonprofit organization that partners with schools, systems, regional service providers, and state departments of education to support excellent instruction for all students, with a focus on students in poverty, students with disabilities, multilingual learners, and students of color. Instruction Partners spends time getting to know the needs of the educators, leaders, and systems it serves, allowing our team to custom-build service plans to support partner goals. Engagements include instructional observations, on-the-ground support, close thought partnership, and capacity-building. For more information, visit https://instructionpartners.org/.