How Can Schools Know If Their Services and Supports Are Actually Driving Meaningful Student Learning? The ‘Active Ingredients’ Project Has Some Answers
“We have a partnership with a regional food bank,” a principal once told me on a school visit. “Each Friday, every eligible student gets a red backpack full of food for the weekend. … And when the parents show up (to refill the backpack each week), a reading specialist leads a 20-minute program on tactics for oral reading fluency and comprehension … and provides them with both a take home cheat sheet and additional materials.”
I was intrigued. This was an innovative approach to tackling food insecurity — a chronic problem in schools that serve economically disadvantaged students — but also to engaging parents in their children’s education. “What improvement in student reading are you seeing?” I asked.