Public Comments for: HB319 - Virginia Literacy Act; early student literacy, evidence-based literacy instruction, etc.
Last Name: Savage Locality: Fairfax County

I'd like to thank Del. Coyner and Sen. Lucas for introducing this vitally important piece of legislation, HB319, to address literacy instruction and assessment. I'm a student with dyslexia who grew up in the public school system here in Fairfax, and although it's one of the best public school systems in the nation, I've seen since the time I was in second grade the gross inequalities in the access to reading instruction and support. My family was able to afford tutors and private reading instruction, my parents were able to read with me every night, and because of that additional out-of-school support I received for years, I was able to eventually read at grade level. Those kind of resources should be considered a fundamental right that we need to guarantee to every student as part of their free appropriate public education, and not just offered to those whose families can afford it. I'm immensely excited about this bill, particularly the provision related to intervention services, which have been a source of major inequities, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact this bill will have over the next decade in expanding opportunities for students like me. Thank you again for the legislators who have signed on, and the advocates for your tireless work on this important issue.

Last Name: Turner Locality: Fairfax

I support HB1047, HB319, HB418, and HB419.

Last Name: Bates Organization: American Federation of Teachers Virginia Locality: Richmond

Comments Document

Dear Education - Early Childhood/Innovation Subcommittee, my name is Tyvon Bates, and on behalf of American Federation of Teachers Virginia, I am writing to urge you to support HB 319 chief patroned by Delegate Coyner. Virginia does not have a comprehensive statewide approach for teaching literacy. This is one reason that children are falling below benchmarks on state reading assessments. COVID-19 has only exacerbated this issue, causing a near twofold increase in the number of at-risk K-2 readers.8 We urge lawmakers to support Delegate Carrie Coyner’s bill, which would create a literacy plan for Virginia that is aligned with the science of reading, a body of research outlining how schools can best teach and assess early reading, including the use of evidence-based practices to promote literacy. I hope you will join me in supporting HB 319.

Last Name: Kane Organization: Decoding Dyslexia Virginia Locality: Loudoun

Please support HB319, HB 418, and HB 419. These bills will make great strides for Virginia's children and their literacy. We cannot afford to wait any longer. I hope as you consider these bills you will also champion the need for urgency . We risk the continued loss of years waiting for districts to begin implementation. Our children do not have the time to wait they need these bills implemented as quickly as possible. Thank you.

Last Name: VanDerhoff Locality: Springfield

I am writing to urge you to support HB 319, HB 418, and HB 419. I am a first grade teacher in Fairfax County Public Schools and for the past two years I have immersed myself in learning everything I can about the science of reading. Even though I have taught 1st and 2nd grade for ten years now, I am embarrassed to say that before learning about the science of reading, I didn't understand a lot about how children developed the skills to become proficient readers. I had been trained in teaching reading using the "balanced literacy" approach. In the early grades, students taught through a balanced literacy approach can appear to be fluent readers. They read formulaic "leveled texts" filled with memorized high-frequency words and peppered with other words that students are meant to guess based on the picture and maybe the first letter. Students move through these levels with just enough picture support to suggest that they are becoming proficienct readers, but then when they reach 3rd grade and beyond where they encounter more unfamiliar multisyllabic words and the picture support drops off, it becomes apparent that they never learned the skills to break down and read words using phonics. After learning about the science of reading, I now know that decoding skills (the ability to read the words on the page) are developed in a sequential and systematic way through explicit phonics instruction where students first learn basic phonics patterns and then move to more challenging ones as they develop mastery. I am grateful that my district, FCPS is adopting a new approach to literacy that aligns with the science of reading. I hope that by passing these three bills, we can move Virginia toward ensuring that every new teacher learns reading instructional practices that align to the science of reading, that we are using evidence-based interventions to address reading gaps and abandoning programs based in balanced literacy such as Reading Recovery, and that we are giving every early reading educator the training and tools they need so that they are equipped to unlock the potential in every child to become a proficient reader.

Last Name: Sujatha Hampton Organization: Fairfax County NAACP Locality: Great Falls

Literacy is a human right without which there is no freedom and there is no justice. The last two school years have brought unprecedented challenges. The loss of life, health, and economic security has been devastating and the crushing toll on student learning will be felt for years. In a time where all students have suffered, the learning loss for Black and Hispanic children has been catastrophic. These losses are particularly concerning when viewed through the lens of the long-standing minority student achievement gap. This disparity in learning begins the moment children enter school and are not taught effectively to read. The Fairfax County Branch of the NAACP is committed to equity in education and to ensuring that all children are given an opportunity to excel academically. It is with this core mission at heart that we wholeheartedly support HB319. We are grateful to our fellow advocates in the educational equity and disability communities for continuing to press for this change in public policy, and we are grateful to our legislature for bringing forth such a powerful bill which will enrich the lives and futures of countless children.

Last Name: Seyba Locality: Yorktown

Please vote for this. So, teachers can learn how to help with reading issues. Thanks

Last Name: Seyba Locality: Yorktown

Please pass the literacy bill. I have friends whose kids would greatly benefit from this. Thanks

Last Name: Dail Locality: Hampton

Fellow Virginians, you have the very rare opportunity to give EACH Virgina student the greatest gift they will ever receive. That being the gift of reading. YOU can do this by voting yes to the HB 319 Literacy Act. I am the 77-year-old grandmother of two grandsons that have dyslexia. They are in my heart. I am also a former 3rd grade teacher from the 70s. I still remember, after all these years, the struggles that I encountered while trying to teach some of my students the skills of reading on very thin information that was taught to those entering into the field of education back then. These students also have my heart! Of course, reading is taught much differently now. But it can be even much better, by using DECADES of studies and research, where science-based instructions and testing will begin in grade K. I do believe that this will give each Virginia student an equal start from DAY ONE. And, also, make YOU the giver of a the most wonderful gift.

Last Name: Mullins Organization: ExcelinEd in Action Locality: Mechanicsburg, PA

Comments Document

Submitting written testimony in support of HB 319 -- The Virginia Literacy Act -- on behalf of ExcelinEd in Action. Thank you for your consideration of this important legislation!

Last Name: Hall Locality: Vienna

I wish to convey my support for house bill 318, 319, and 418. What makes Virginia strong is commitment to meeting the learning needs of all students through the various stages of language skill acquisition. In truth, there are many steps which could be undertaken to strengthen education throughout the Commonwealth. What these bills have in common is a focus on demonstrated approaches to further learning outcomes using what are really modest levels of resources. Please pass each of these measures out of committee! Respectfully Norm Hall Vienna VA

Last Name: Cooper-Gould Locality: Reston, VA

Please VOTE YES and support this critically important bill! Explicit, systematic, cumulative literacy instruction based on the science of reading is critical for teaching our VA students how to read. Decades of research supports this methodology. As an education advocate I have dedicated many years to helping our students thrive. Literacy education based on the science of reading is best practice for ALL students regardless of ability. It is long past time, that our VA schools teach reading effectively. Thank you!

Last Name: Moore-Rizek Locality: Haymarket

Thank you for this opportunity to speak to literacy concerns in Virginia. Dyslexia runs in my family and we all live in Virginia. My oldest child was seven years old when we had him diagnosed in 2002. The same was true for his brother in 2004. My dream was that one day my grandchildren could start their public education with a foundation in reading that had been accurately assessed and support provided. My hopes are waning. There is a sense of urgency to this bill, so please support HB319 as it is written and implement that start date and do not delay. I am an intake coordinator for a psychology practice and every day I talk to parents who are surprised and frustrated that their children are not reading. I have seen so much damage that is done within a lifetime of poor reading skills. Please support HB319.

Last Name: Foltz Locality: Fairfax

HB319/SB616 We are in a literacy crisis in Virginia and we need to invest in our children's literacy by ensuring they receive a curriculum rooted in science-based reading research and evidence-based literacy instruction. They deserve teachers who can well trained and hit the ground running and impart foundational literacy skills at the beginning of their academic careers without the current wait-to-fail model .This comprehensive literacy bill will pull multiple levers, simultaneously, to support all VA divisions as they transition their staff and curriculum to science-based reading research and evidence-based literacy instruction. My daughter is 17, about to graduate Fairfax County Schools and is not capable of reading her college applications. Thankfully she is recieving private remediation now but the challenge is undoing poor instruction from poorly trained teachers without fidelity. Please support these bills to improve the outcomes of the children of Virginia.

Last Name: Dail Locality: Blacksburg

Please support HB319 and bring the current body of knowledge about how to comprehensively provide early reading instruction and evidence-based literacy assessment to the Commonwealth. It is time for Virginia to provide consistent and comprehensive early literacy instruction. I am asking as a parent with two dyslexic children serviced by special education in public schools. I know first-hand that instruction using the science of reading and evaluation for reading difficulties as early as Kindergarten and 1st grade can avoid or minimize costly special education services necessary without proper early reading instruction. There is a robust body of research that has found that “students who are on track and reading at the end of first grade are almost invariably still good readers at the end of fourth grade, whereas students who are not readers at the end of first grade are highly unlikely (88%) to be reading at the end of fourth grade” (Juel, 1988). Similarly, 70% of below average readers in 3rd grade remain below average readers in 8th grade (Landerl & Wimmer, 2008). Simply put, it is far better to teach reading using the science of reading from the beginning and assess, identify, and appropriately address problems as early as possible. HB319 outlines a multi-faceted statewide literacy plan that embraces 40 years of research and evidence regarding the creation of proficient readers; HB319 aims to support and empower teachers, students, and parents. Virginia's data shows that current practices are not working and that the pandemic has only exacerbated these problems. Thank you for your service to the Commonwealth and please support HB319.

Last Name: Taylor Locality: Herndon, VA

Please support HB 319, 418 and 419. These bills will help Virginia's children learn to read and gain more proficiency in acquiring language arts skills. BUT also please consider shortening the time frame as we can no longer sit around and wait as we will be losing precious time waiting on the implementation. We need action NOW to give these children a better start in life with acquiring the reading skills that they deserve to be taught by a public education system! Thank you. Signed - Mom of a dyslexic son whose top notch public school could not provide the basic Science of Reading remediation desperately needed after not being diagnosed until mid 3rd grade.

Last Name: Sassano Locality: Loudoun

As a Virginia educator and educational leader specializing in literacy and social emotional learning for the past 15 years, I wish to support HB319 | Coyner | Virginia Literacy Act; early student literacy, evidence-based literacy instruction, etc. and HB419 | Delaney | Institutions of higher education; education preparation programs; coursework; audit. Data in northern Virginia schools have long demonstrated that our most vulnerable populations: minority students, economically disadvantaged, English learners and students with disabilities do not achieve basic literacy standards at the same rate as their peers, when receiving instruction based in "balanced literacy" practices alone. This failure to provide an equitable educational experience resulting in equitable access to higher level education is unnecessary when we have over 40 years of government funded research which empirically tells us the instructional practices that work. As someone who has been responsible for instructing hundreds of children in scientifically based early literacy (direct instruction and structured literacy) interventions and has witnessed the positive shift in progress firsthand, I can attest to its success. Should appropriate literacy instruction based in science (direct instruction and structured literacy) be delivered to all students as their first form of instruction, we would not be spending the amount on intervention, remediation and staffing which we currently are in our public schools. More recently in my career, as someone who has been responsible for teaching thousands of Virginia teachers literacy practices through post-service professional development, I can also attest to the fact that the vast majority of new and veteran teachers alike are not aware of the differences in literacy approaches that are evidence-based versus those which are not. This currently is requiring a great deal of retraining, substitutes to cover classrooms and time away from instruction, all which come at the expense of taxpayer dollars. Should universities be required to rewrite their coursework to include skills and competencies grounded in research, that burden would be alleviated from our public school systems. These bills support one another in a two pronged approach to eliminate the negative outcomes created by widespread and long-standing miseducation in literacy: require school systems to implement evidence-based curriculum for the students of today, and better prepare our teachers of tomorrow. We need all citizens to be critical thinkers, effective communicators and problem solvers. Without acquiring literacy skills at a proficient enough rate to access factual information in current contexts, as well as historically, the knowledge of others who came before us, that is simply not possible. Without having the deep level of literacy necessary to access higher education opportunities, choices in adulthood are severely limited. When significant portions of our overall population do not have access to information, because we have not equipped them with adequate literacy skills to effectively read and critically think, the impacts on the individual's quality of life, as well as the societal and workforce impacts are immeasurable. Scientifically based literacy instruction is a human right and civil rights issue, and implore our commonwealth's leaders to take the first step in addressing it by passing these bills. Thank you!

Last Name: Keen Locality: Roanoke County

As the parent of a child with dyslexia, I would like to support these 3 bills. Our sons reading disability was missed by multitudes of educators and once identified the schools were ill-prepared to instruct him using a structured literacy program. The Commonwealth must have a data-driven literacy program. This ultimately benefits all students.

Last Name: Martin Organization: Decoding Dyslexia Locality: Orange County

Comments Document

To Whom it May Concern, We are in the midst of a literacy crisis in Virginia and we need to invest in our children's literacy by ensuring they receive a curriculum rooted in science-based reading research and evidence-based literacy instruction. They deserve teachers who can hit the ground running and impart foundational literacy skills at the beginning of their academic careers without the current wait-to-fail model that was in place for my own daughter who couldn't learn to read. I urge you to send this bill to the House for a vote and to pass this bill into law for the betterment of our children and future workforce of the Commonwealth. Thank you for your time, Melissa Martin Teacher Decoding Dyslexia Advocate.

Last Name: Knuth Locality: Berkeley Heights

We lost our good friends and their beautiful family to a move they needed to make due to the need of sufficient education for their two boys with dyslexia.

Last Name: Moser Locality: James City County

As a veteran teacher of 15 years, with instructional/leadership experience in special education, general education, and literacy intervention, this house bill is tailored for a specific type of learner and needs for specialized instruction. Yes, it is critical that our teacher programs better prepare teachers with literacy knowledge and assessment tools to determine best fit instructional practices for each student. Classrooms have a diverse set of students to include students with disabilities, English as a Second Language Learners, typically developing students, as well as above average and gifted learners. This is 2022 - we have advanced in education well beyond a blanket approach to instruction. What's good for some is NOT good for all. We need to be prescriptive and intentional with our decisions. Any approach that overemphasizes one aspect of literacy over another will neglect other important areas. The Science of Reading is body of research that has recently re-ignited the “Reading Wars” of balanced literacy approach versus phonics-only approach which has resulted in schools frantically snatching up phonics instructional books and putting them into the hands of untrained teachers. There is no argument that systematic and explicit phonics instruction is a key component of literacy instruction; however, proper training and appropriate and engaging methodologies are essential so that children can apply what is learned in the context of reading and writing. I respect the work that has been done by the Science of Reading researchers and, as a result, have been trained various instructional approaches grounded in this body of research. As a reflective practitioner, I have adjusted my instructional practices while using assessment information to determine if either of these programs would be a best fit methodology for students. On the other hand, I also respect and honor the work done by the decades of research compiled by leading researchers in the field of literacy Fountas and Pinnell, Dr. Marie Clay and other psychologists, educators, professors, and literacy specialists as they have studied children reading engaging, continuous text. Decades of research and success results exist amongst many with children of various abilities and demographics with this specific body of research. In conclusion, I am not debating that explicit and systematic phonics instruction is a key component to teacher preparation and literacy instruction in Virginia. I am, however, fearful of that HB318 overemphasizes one approach of skills-based teaching tailored to 20% of the total population with severe reading difficulties, thus having a detrimental impact on the progress and growth on the vast majority.

Last Name: Butler Locality: Loudoun

My middle school daughter is dyslexic. It is because of the phonemic based literacy intervention she received in school that she is currently an A student. She has received support since second grade and lives school. She would be in a much different position without the early intervention she received. Please support these literacy bills.

Last Name: AlMahroos Locality: Arlington, VA

It is time for Virginia to provide literacy instruction based on the science of reading. Children learn best when they are taught to read explicitly by teaching phonics, phonemic awareness, and fluency. In addition, according to the simple view of reading, reading equals decoding ability as well as comprehension and as a result, literacy instruction should also focus on the acquisition of background knowledge. I would love to see a curriculum that actually enables students to acquire background knowledge implemented across Virginia schools. An example of such a curriculum would be Wit & Wisdom, ARC Core, and Core Knowledge Language Arts.

Last Name: Wentzel Locality: Leesburg va

Upport our students and families

Last Name: Owens Organization: Decoding Dyslexia VA Locality: Arlington

I'm Donna Owens. For over a decade, we tried to work with our public schools to identify and teach our dyslexic children to read, spell, and write. But despite the schools' good faith efforts, the public school system was miserably ill-prepared to help. Thankfully, our family had the financial resources and knowledge to privately teach our children. Thousands of dollars and countless hours later, one dyslexic child is now a financially independent working adult and the other dyslexic child is a dean's list college student. They probably would not have graduated from high school if they had only been given access to the public schools' balanced literacy instruction. Balanced literacy does not work. Virginia has been failing to teach too many children to read for decades. Although fully implementing Delegate Coyner's Literacy Act will be challenging, we have no other choice lest we suffer the consequences of having a semi-literate Commonwealth.

Last Name: Hoffman Locality: Ashburn

Please evaluate our literacy programs and institute science based proven instruction. My 8 year old has an IEP and is being evaluated for a reading disability. There needs to be more options to help these struggling readers! Thank you

Last Name: Frese Locality: Leesburg

I lost a good friend because they had to sell their home and move to an area that had a private school for their dyslexic children

Last Name: Mansfield Organization: Decoding Dyslexia Virginia Locality: Loudoun

Good afternoon, Delegates of the House Education Committee! My name is Melinda Mansfield and I am writing to ask for your support of: HB319 - Delegate Carrie Coyner's Virginia Literacy Act that will ensure that Virginia's children will learn to read. HB319 https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GqECg9POKdBRySvAFtpYd13gyVQHoJfD/view SB616 - (after crossover) Senators Lucas and McClellan's Virginia Literacy Act that will ensure that Virginia's children will learn to read. SB616 Bill Support https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GqECg9POKdBRySvAFtpYd13gyVQHoJfD/view HB419 - Delegate Karrie Delaney's bill ensures Virginia's Institutes of Higher Education use science-based reading research and evidence-based literacy instruction in their curriculum and confirms compliance at least every 5 years with an audit. HB419 Bill Support https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-pK5JoqwjI039tDe9HcCsnYQlOYKVKWKbPyD5RQOgJ4/edit HB418 - Delegate Karrie Delaney's bill removing the product name 'Reading Recovery' from our Virginia educational code HB418 Bill Support https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-pK5JoqwjI039tDe9HcCsnYQlOYKVKWKbPyD5RQOgJ4/edit Virginia is in the midst of a literacy crisis and we must invest in our children's literacy by ensuring they receive a curriculum rooted in science-based reading research and evidence-based literacy instruction. Children deserve teachers and reading specialists who can hit the ground running and impart foundational literacy skills at the beginning of their academic journey. Teachers deserve adequate tools and preparation so they may teach children how to read, handwrite, write and spell “to make the difference that they want to make.” School districts deserve support and guidance in picking professional development, curriculum, intervention, computer and supplemental literacy programs so that they are not subject to slick marketing campaigns. The consequences of a slow start in reading become titanic in middle school and beyond because they exponentially accrue over time. Therefore, this must be done in elementary school before a child moves to middle and high school. Moreover, the middle and high school model is not adequately set up for real remediation. WE must move from a “remediation” model to a “preventative” model of literacy instruction. The investment in our children, teachers and school districts is way overdue. If you cannot read or write…you cannot do math, history, science, civics, computer programming, etc. Literacy is the foundation for all learning. Please co-patron these bills and encourage your colleagues to do the same. The chief patron's and their staff are ready to answer any questions you have about the bills. Although the challenge ahead of us is enormous, I am hopeful that future generations of Virginia's children will have an opportunity to learn to read write proficiently and grow to be productive members of our society. Literacy is a right!

Last Name: Blair Locality: Arlington

It is imperative that Virginia base its literacy instruction on methods that are evidence-based. I am a tutor for dyslexic students in Arlington, one of the highest-ranked systems in the country, yet many students require extra support for reading instruction that they should be getting in school. Many students cannot afford to pay upwards of $70 per tutoring session, nor should they have a need if schools are teaching them to read. Please implement the requirement that all teachers, not only reading teachers or special education teachers, are trained in teaching reading through evidence-based methods. (HB319, HB418, HB419)

Last Name: Lee Locality: Henrico

Literacy is a basic human right! Thank you for supporting our children!

Last Name: gregory Locality: henrico

I believe in literacy being a basic right of every human

Last Name: Gunther Locality: Chesterfield

I believe that every school should do their best to ensure every child has the best literacy instruction possible. This needs to be the primary focus in k-2 grades as research shows that students who are behind by 3rd grade will most likely never “catch up.” The emphasis on phonics and language acquisition is vital in order to teach all students to read!

Last Name: Dunn Locality: Haymarket, VA

I believe in literacy being a basic right of every human and we lost good friends because they had to sell their home and move to an area that had a private school for their dyslexic children.

Last Name: King Locality: New Kent

My name is Susan King, and I live in New Kent County.. My daughter, Emma Claire, was diagnosed with dyslexia in first grade. To say that Dyslexia is an important issue that impacts my family every day is an understatement. It’s frustrating, confusing and impacts Emma Claire’s self esteem. It’s left her with anxiety . She’s been failed by the public school system, which doesn’t not consistently use evidence-based practices to teach literacy and provide the appropriate reading intervention services. Our daughter’s elementary school neither recognized the issue – instead attributed her frustration and confusion to her behavior – and had no reading specialists or teachers with the appropriate training and qualifications to deliver the specialized instruction that she needed. In order to get her the appropriate intervention, we had to hire a private tutor, at a cost of more than $200 a week, driving from our home in New Kent to Richmond. That’s 100 miles (50 miles each way), 2 times a week so Emma Claire could meet with her after school. With the pandemic and virtual school, and after our difficult experiences trying to obtain the appropriate accommodations for our daughter at her public school, we’ve abandoned the public school system all together. Opting for a private school that can provide the services she needs. And we are not alone. I’ve heard parents, like us say they’ll never send their children to public school again because of the lack of support they received and the negative impact that had on their child. When it comes to dyslexia, it definitely isn’t a “one size fits all” approach. Our teachers need the training and skills necessary to provide the appropriate instruction and intervention for students, like our daughter. This bill also provides parents with tools to use at home to further help their young learner. I’m incredibly fortunate to be able to provide my daughter with tutors and a specialized private school. But the majority of parents do not have this same luxury. They need to partner with schools to ensure their child reaches his or her full potential. As the parent of a child with dyslexia, I’m asking for your help in ensuring that our schools, teachers, and administrators have the tools to provide a quality education to all students. They deserve every opportunity not just to learn but to excel. I’m asking for you to please support HB319.

Last Name: Krishnan Locality: Loudoun

I believe quality education is a basic right

Last Name: Viverito Locality: Henrico

Both of our children, now ages 8 and 10 have been diagnosed with dyslexia. Our 10-year-old is currently reading at a first grade level our eight-year-old cannot yet read at all. After spending more than $50,000 out of pocket, every ounce of energy we have and strong advocacy with their school in Loudoun County Virginia, they finally received services, after initially being declined. The services being provided are the bare minimum of what they need. My oldest is going into middle school next year and he is considered “at risk”. We uprooted our entire family and moved to the Richmond area so that he could attend a private school that costs $33,000 a year where he would finally receive the proven structured literacy program that works for all struggling readers not just dyslexic students. It should not be this way, not in 2022 . All students are entitled by law, to a free and appropriate education. I have teacher friends that have are part of a Facebook group called “things I should have learned in college” that was created by teachers and is for teachers. Why aren’t teachers being taught the science of reading? There is no excuse.

Last Name: Carmean Locality: Ashburn

Our children with learning disabilities deserve more!

Last Name: O’Toole Locality: Aldie

I am writing in support of bills HB318, HB418, and HB419. I am a parent of two elementary school kids in Loudoun county. We desperately need improves screening and literacy programs for our kids. My sons are in 4th and 2nd grade. They both were in virtual learning during the first year and half of the pandemic. My 2nd grader is in the process of getting an IEP. He has dyslexia and other specific learning disabilities. We need programs that teach all of our kids how to read and identify those with dyslexia and other learning disabilities sooner. My son is now over a year behind in reading and writing as his dyslexia was not discovered until this year. His confidence has taken a huge blow. The more I have educated myself about dyslexia and now learned that 15-20% of kids have dyslexia I was surprised to learn that we aren’t doing an adequate job providing proven multi sensory structured literacy for all our kids. The literacy scores for our students have continued to fall and a major revamp is needed. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of these bills. All our kids deserve a fair and good education.

Last Name: Bean Locality: South Riding, Va

I am writing in support of these important bills (HB319, HB418, HB419) that will provide vital improvements to our education system. We need evidence-based curriculum and should be looking at what is best for all our students, not lining the pockets of curriculum companies.

Last Name: Sherwood Locality: Nelson County

HB319 | Coyner | Virginia Literacy Act; early student literacy, evidence-based literacy instruction, etc.--YES! YES! YES! Long overdue! Thank you from a Teacher/Reading Interventionist! HB356 | Tata | Public schools; regional charter school divisions.--YES! YES! YES! Long overdue! Thank you from a teacher with experience in a magnet school in Texas and a charter school in Maryland!

Last Name: Baker Locality: Alexandria, VA

Reading should be a fundamental priority in education. We know what works with a large percentage of students with dyslexia and other reading challenges, and yet our curriculum does not provide the support for these proven methods. Please support empirical programs for literacy.

Last Name: Duncan Organization: Decoding Dyslexia Virginia Locality: Fairfax County

HB319/SB616 We are in the midst of a literacy crisis in Virginia and we need to invest in our children's literacy by ensuring they receive a curriculum rooted in science-based reading research and evidence-based literacy instruction. They deserve teachers who can hit the ground running and impart foundational literacy skills at the beginning of their academic careers without the current wait-to-fail model that was in place for my own daughter who couldn't learn to read in Fairfax County Schools. This comprehensive literacy bill will pull multiple levers, simultaneously, to support all VA divisions as they transition their staff and curriculum to science-based reading research and evidence-based literacy instruction. HB319 & SB616 Talking Points for Support of the Bill https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GqECg9POKdBRySvAFtpYd13gyVQHoJfD/view HB319 & SB616 Support Flyer https://drive.google.com/file/d/1enxMHOdS3nRo4cU6gR7Lx5FLcJbrvZuR/view HB418 Reading Recovery is a product name and should not be a part of VA Education Code Talking Points for Support of HB418 https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-pK5JoqwjI039tDe9HcCsnYQlOYKVKWKbPyD5RQOgJ4/edit HB419 We are in the midst of a literacy crisis in Virginia and we need to invest in our children's literacy by ensuring they receive a curriculum rooted in science-based reading research and evidence-based literacy instruction. They deserve teachers who can hit the ground running and impart foundational literacy skills at the beginning of their academic careers without the current wait-to-fail model that was in place for my own daughter who couldn't learn to read. This bill ensures Virginia's Institutes of Higher Education use science-based reading research and evidence-based literacy instruction in their curriculum and confirms compliance at least every 5 years with an audit. Talking Points for Support of HB419 https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-pK5JoqwjI039tDe9HcCsnYQlOYKVKWKbPyD5RQOgJ4/edit

Last Name: Friesen Locality: Fairfax

Please support this bill. For too long districts have been staffed by those who received erroneous training on how literacy in children really worked. That has led to adoption of many balanced literacy curricula that receive failing grades when it comes to how the curricula teach kids to read. Our most disadvantaged kids lose out the most under balanced literacy, which doesn't work for many, but all kids benefit from using structured literacy methods. We've known for 40 years how to teach kids how to read. John McWhorter says it well in a pair of op-eds published 11 years apart: https://www.theroot.com/we-know-how-to-teach-black-kids-1790881629 https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/03/opinion/kids-reading-spelling.html Look at Tennessee and Colorado where bills like this one have been adopted to see that they truly work.

Last Name: Martin Organization: Decoding Dyslexia Virginia Central Virginia Region Locality: Gordonsville, Orange County

Comments Document

Good afternoon, Delegates of the House Education Committee! My name is Melissa Martin and I am a member of Decoding Dyslexia Virginia, as well as a teacher. I am writing to ask for your support of: HB319 - Delegate Carrie Coyner's Virginia Literacy Act that will ensure that Virginia's children will learn to read. HB319 Bill Support SB616 - (after crossover) Senators Lucas and McClellan's Virginia Literacy Act that will ensure that Virginia's children will learn to read. SB616 Bill Support HB419 - Delegate Karrie Delaney's bill ensures Virginia's Institutes of Higher Education use science-based reading research and evidence-based literacy instruction in their curriculum and confirms compliance at least every 5 years with an audit. HB419 Bill Support HB418 - Delegate Karrie Delaney's bill removing the product name 'Reading Recovery' from our Virginia educational code HB418 Bill Support We are in the midst of a literacy crisis in Virginia and we need to invest in our children's literacy by ensuring they receive a curriculum rooted in science-based reading research and evidence-based literacy instruction. They deserve teachers who can hit the ground running and impart foundational literacy skills at the beginning of their academic careers without the current wait-to-fail model that was in place for my own daughter who couldn't learn to read. Please co-patron these bills and encourage your colleagues to do the same. The chief patron's and their staff are ready to answer any questions you have about the bills. Although the challenge ahead of us is enormous, I am hopeful that future generations of Virginia's children will have an opportunity to learn to read efficiently and grow to be productive members of our society. Reading is a right! Best regards, Melissa Martin Decoding Dyslexia Virginia 434-242-9496

End of Comments