Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence

Lonnie Harp


    OCTOBER 2019 \\\\\ SPENCER COUNTY MIDDLE SCHOOL At some point most every school day, Marissa Atha, a 7th grader at Spencer County Middle School, said she can’t wait for the final bell to chime. She finds math and science tough to absorb, but once school is out, she feels confident that she can get things straight and also have fun with friends — all before dinner. “How I do in class is improved,” Marissa said, crediting the school’s thriving afterschool program, Grizzlies Beyond the Bell, which everyone calls G.B.B.

    AUGUST 2019 \\\\\ MILES ELEMENTARY SCHOOL in ERLANGER-ELSMERE Vivid facts about an unusual predator capture a classroom of first graders in Northern Kentucky. Together, students read about the Humboldt squid — most common in the Pacific currents off South America, Mexico and California. The giant squid darts through the sea with long tentacles and hunts with sharp teeth inside a powerful beak. For the class, the description is an attention grabber. The imagery suits a lesson about finding attributes in a text to differentiate between similar animals. The activity also lets students practice their ability as writers to describe examples and share evidence to support a main point. All of the skills are basics in Kentucky’s academic standards for reading and writing.

    For groups of fifth graders arriving for a reading lesson with teacher Nikki Adams, the morning’s challenge is spotting examples of how an author shows cause and effect or uses comparisons and contrasts to inform readers. In an article titled “Why are the Oceans Salty?,” they spot phrases like “As a result…” and “To explain…” to understand the text structures and strengthen their skills as readers. They also have to tap other skills, like making sense of an unfamiliar word.