HELC Partners with LaRosas to Promote Literacy
Houston Early Learning Center (HELC) is partnering with LaRosa’s Pizza to make learning delicious! LaRosa’s Mobile Kitchen will donate the cooking supplies and will visit the preschool to allow each student to make their very own pizza and tour the facility. Students within the classrooms are learning pre-reading and early literacy skills by connecting words with objects and places. This week, students are reading Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza by Philemon Sturges, so it is only fitting that LaRosa’s Mobile Kitchen will be on site cooking pizzas within the preschool learning environment.
The idea was created by Jayne Sayers, a HELC Intervention Specialist. “The staff at the preschool is working hard to not only teach students to read but to help students make real life connection with the words that they are learning,” said Sayers. Sayers teaches in a cross categorical classroom, which is a specially designed class to help students with communication needs. “These types of projects is another way of assisting students with literacy.”
Administrators and teachers within the preschool are using common places in the community in order to teach students word recognition and application. “Within our classrooms we label things like ‘Door, closet or Flag’ in order to help our students to identify and attach objects to actual words,” says Jill Henderlight HELC’s General Education Preschool Teacher. “We are also using environmental print, which is helping students to identify commonly known places within the community. We know that this is essential and is a precursor to learning to read,” says Henderlight.
The push to promote literacy is not only taking place within HELC, but is being implemented districtwide within the Northwest Local School District. “As part of the District’s Strategic Plan, we are placing a relentless focus on literacy. LaRosa’s has provided the perfect vehicle to incorporate literature. This is an activity where students get to make and create their own pizza, taste and enjoy it, which truly brings literacy to life,” Aimee Murray, HELC Principal. “We want to ensure that our students will enjoy every bite of literacy.”