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    A Summer of Seattle Super Readers
    Posted on 09/10/2020
    A collection of early reader books with Seattle Super Reader stickers on a book shelf

    A Summer of Seattle Super Readers

    This summer looked a little different due to COVID-19, but at Seattle Public Schools, Seattle Super Readers stayed busy throughout the summer. While students were reading books that they picked up from meal sites around the city, educators were engaged in learning about the science of reading.


    "Books, books, and more books. Thx to the @SeaPubSchools team working so hard to get books out to our students so they can be #SeattleSuperReaders all summer long!"
    ~ Superintendent Denise Juneau

    Superintendent Denise Juneau, July 6, 2020; @SeattleSupt follow Superintendent Denise Juneau on Twitter.


    Summer Book Distribution

    This summer, over 30,000 books were distributed to students through the Seattle Super Readers Summer Book Swap. Books for all ages, both fiction and nonfiction, were available at all summer meal pick up sites across the city.

    Students and their families were able to pick up a book, or multiple books, and then return them for new books throughout the summer. An intentional focus was put on highlighting authors of Color and books that mirrored the lived experience of SPS students.

    In addition, every meal site staffed a "Super Readers Sidekick" who helped students pick out books that would fit their interests and reading levels. New books were added each week, which kept students and families excited about coming back to browse new titles.

    While libraries were closed across the city, this book swap provided access to books for students so they could continue building their literacy skills throughout the summer. Great job, Super Readers!

    Early Literacy Summer Institute

    SPS was excited to host the first Early Literacy Summer Institute to kick off a yearlong course of study on the science of reading for teachers in pre-kindergarten through 3rd grade in schools across the district that have high representation of students of Color, particularly African-American boys. Over 300 PreK-3 teachers, specialists, and school leaders participated in this three-day virtual series.

    Each day covered a topic that was related to PreK-3 literacy, including: Racial Equity and the Science of Reading: Meeting the needs of students furthest from educational justice; The Science of Reading: Research about how children learn to read; and Whole Child: Nurturing the whole child and social emotional well-being.

    Each day offered a nationally recognized keynote speaker, including Lacey Robinson, president and CEO of UnboundEd, David Liben, advisor for Student Achievement Partners, and Marc Brackett, founder of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.

    After the institute, educators will engage in monthly work sessions in their specific grade levels so that learning will continue throughout the year. In addition, eight literacy coaches will support the schools with high representation of students of color in their early literacy work in order to achieve the Seattle Excellence goal of all students reading at grade level by 3rd grade.

    Classroom Libraries

    Schools across the district with high representation of students of Color, particularly African-American boys, will also be receiving updated classroom libraries for all classrooms, K-5.

    For grades K-2, the books will be aligned to the early literacy curriculum that will be taught throughout the year so that students will be able to build their skills while reading independently.

    For grades 3-4, high interest books were purchased in order for students to have a diverse range of titles so that they'll stay excited about reading.

    The books that were ordered were curated from district and community recommendations, as well as from Black bookstore owners across the country. This list of books more closely reflects our students' lived experiences, as well as portray and embody Black Excellence. Books for classroom libraries will be arriving in the next couple of weeks and schools will determine the process for distributing books to students during remote learning.

    Stay tuned for more Seattle Super Readers and Early Literacy updates throughout the school year!

    Learn more about our strategic plan, Seattle Excellence.