Grant Turns a Page on Literacy

Dustin Gowan and Heather Hamblin will teach literacy in a pilot after school program at TOW.
Dustin Gowan and Heather Hamblin will teach literacy in a pilot after school program at TOW.

Thanks to a grant, Top of the World Elementary School will be piloting an after school literacy program that provides targeted instruction to struggling readers beginning this month.

“We have invested a great deal of time and money in purchasing research-based programs and I am pleased to report we are seeing great results,” said Irene White, director of special education and student services, who conceded that teachers find it a challenge to provide additional reading instruction in a school day.

An idea surfaced in a meeting with local resident Calvin Nelson, a retired math professor and former Saddleback College dean, who is a board member of Donegan Burns Foundation. The Bonsall-based foundation provides grants for literacy and after-school programs as well as scholarships for deserving youth. The foundation’s grant will fund an after school class four days per week. Dustin Gowan, TOW’s resource specialist, and assistant Heather Hamblin, will teach the class.

Calvin Nelson
Calvin Nelson

Students will use the Fast ForWord program over 12 weeks supplemented by instruction based on each child’s individual needs.




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