Science of Reading Theory Enhances Instruction at SCPS

Westover, MD, July 11, 2022 – Somerset County Public Schools’ (SCPS) elementary teachers recently received vital training in a professional development session with national reading consultant, Kathy Baumgardner. The session centered around the “Science of Reading,” a body of academic research that draws from the fields of cognitive and educational psychology, neuroscience and linguistics in order to shed light on how humans learn to read. 
 
Tracie Bartemy, SCPS Director of Schools shared about the training, “Reading science has shown that our brains are not naturally wired to read and write, as they are with spoken language. Developing a ‘reading-brain’ requires foundational skills that build upon one another in a cumulative and systematic instructional program. Understanding how young minds learn is instrumental to teaching and achieving reading fluency.”
 
Throughout the workshop, teachers learned techniques for effectively teaching reading foundational skills and phonics. The training session concluded with teachers creating charts and activities to use in their classrooms. SCPS plans to host a second training in August, prior to the start of the 2022-2023 school year. 
 
Five teachers at the front of the room holding flash cards
Teachers participate in a phonics exercise under the direction of National Reading Consultant, Kathy Baumgardner. 
 
A group of teachers standing together holding charts and smiling
SCPS Elementary Teachers and Science of Reading workshop instructor, Kathy Baumgardner gather for a photo at the conclusion of the day’s session.