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A new way to teach literacy

Milwaukee Public Schools is partnering with a nonprofit organization to implement a new instruction model aimed in increasing literacy in Milwaukee.

The program is known as Transformative Reading Instruction, or TRI, and is overseen by Milwaukee Succeeds, an initiative of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.

The model pairs a literacy coach with teachers in the classroom, allowing them to adapt to students needs on-the-fly. Together they work with students on fluency, ensuring they grasp the material before moving forward with the curriculum.

And TRI targets a critical educational benchmark -- third grade.

"We need to have children reading by third grade.  If children aren't reading by third grade, it's a large indicator they'll struggle all through high school," said Audrey Borland, project manager for Milwaukee Succeeds. "Three quarters of children that aren't reading by third grade do not read at grade level upon (high school) graduation."

TRI is currently in place at seven Milwaukee schools -- five public, one charter and one private -- with plans to expand the program to 50 schools within the next five years.

Click the podcast player above the photos to hear our interview with Borland and MPS Literacy Director Debbie Kuether.

Director of Digital Content | Radio Milwaukee