Metro Detroit literacy coaching program hoping to make difference in Michigan students

When the governor announced her intention to fund more literacy coaches and reading interventions, I wanted to see how the programs worked.

You can find literacy coaches in most districts. In Macomb, they are adding them to schools as fast as they can train them.

Off the main hall in a cheerful room at McGlinnen Elementary School in Clinton Township 2nd grader, Landon Coleman reads to his dad Chad. In a small, but strong voice.

“He wouldn’t read to me because it wasn’t he wasn’t very confident with it. Now he’s reading for everybody,” said Chad Coleman, Landon’s dad.

Landon is one of many kids in the Clintondale district using high-dosage after-school tutoring programs and in-class guidance to boost literacy skills. After falling behind during the pandemic.

“He loves going to tutoring and all the extra help that he’s gotten. So it’s awesome to see him grow from there,” said Landon’s dad.

Michigan is in the bottom 10 of the country when it comes to fourth-grade reading levels, and the state just got rid of the law that could hold third graders back if they didn’t pass a proficiency test. Some of the interventions that are being proposed are literacy coaches to the tune of a 42 million dollar investment statewide.

There is a push statewide for more literacy coaches. Assist. Superintendent Macomb ISD Dr. Alesia Flye says they are expanding their training for teachers and looking for more coaches.

And it’s not one program that will bring results. Classroom interventions, along with high dosage tutoring after-school programs and starting early, like pre-k.

It’s a help for Landon, who gets more confident by the day, mastering the power of reading, which no longer is a frustration, but a favorite thing to do.

Stephanie Christian is a literacy coach in the Clintondale district. As a coach, she works in tandem with 2nd grade teacher Genevieve Jones.

Together they track which kids need more help and strategize how to do it.

The literacy coaching program is expanding rapidly in Macomb County. Dr. Alesia Flye is the assistant superintendent at Macomb ISD.

There has been a lot of debate on curriculum across the country in terms of getting back to more phonics. Macomb ISD’s philosophy is consistency and they believe that the data will show that.

About the Author:

Christy McDonald is an Emmy-Award winning TV anchor and journalist who has covered news in Detroit and Michigan for 25 years before joining WDIV in 2022.