Six Pillars of Effective Literacy Intervention

By Kelly Griego

Students who fail to reach literacy benchmark by 3rd grade see engagement and self-esteem slide, struggle to keep up in other subjects and often drop out entirely. Per other research, effective literacy intervention holds powerful potential. When struggling students receive proven intervention, they see far more hopeful outcomes, like achievement gains, improved grade retention, increased high school graduation rates and a decline in juvenile arrests.

At Amplify, our mission is to partner with educators in the shared goal of helping all students realize their full potential in school and beyond. This means that both students and those who educate them are integral to our mission. Research and data are core to the products and services we build to help educators better serve students—and we also rely on what educators tell us. They are, after all, the ones in the classrooms with students. Their boots-on-the ground perspectives inspire our process and pedagogy just as much as research does.

When we set out to build intervention tools that teachers would use with fidelity, we let educator and expert insights and research drive what must underpin successful literacy intervention. We determined six pillars of effective literacy intervention:

  1. Struggling readers must be identified as soon as possible;
  2. Intervention must then be delivered as swiftly as possible;
  3. Intervention must be customized to every learner and adapt with progress;
  4. Instructional adaptation and progress monitoring must be automated so that teachers can stay focused on core literacy blocks and instruction;
  5. Data must be frequent, meaningful and actionable;
  6. Teachers must remain in the equation, capable of observing and responding to readers in real time.

Needle-moving and future-protecting intervention cannot forgo human interaction. Technology, with its capacity to deliver rapid data, can’t stand in the way of the educator-student relationship. Instead, it must enhance it and guide ongoing, tailored support.

We simply cannot let our young, struggling readers watch their futures slip away when research-based, teacher-tested literacy intervention has the ability to keep their days ahead bright.

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