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Reading scores soar in Jamaica

Reading scores at Christel House Jamaica have dramatically improved. The school wide IDRI (Informal Diagnostics Reading Inventory) is up 34.5 points since the school established a daily Literacy Block program. Reading Specialist/Literacy Coordinator Tina Brown says seeing the drive to succeed is rewarding. “The students’ enthusiasm for reading has since spread to their parents, who have been encouraged to become more active in their child's development.”

Tina joined Christel House last year and admits the pandemic, while not the sole factor, undoubtably influenced reading scores. The school opened in the Fall of 2020 with students initially learning in an online environment. “Reintegrating to a face-to-face context after the pandemic, combined with the student’s limited experience in formal schooling, contributed to a delay in achievement.”

Working with Jason Scott, Christel House Jamaica Executive Principal, Tina had a plan. “I devised a reading intervention strategy that included not just intervention sessions but also schoolwide support for reading growth through the implementation of a daily Literacy Block and other events in collaboration with the school library.”

The strategies are working. The results show substantial growth in reading comprehension. “In Jamaica's educational scene, Christel House has introduced a distinctive and cutting-edge approach that has garnered a lot of attention,” says Tina. “There is a growing and encouraging sense of community that exists between the home and the school.”    

Tina has 21 years of experience as a teacher, with 15 years as a literacy specialist. “My journey began as an ICT (Information and Communications Technology) Specialist,” she says. “During my classes, I observed that several students struggled to read.” She was inspired to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Language Studies with a concentration on Literacy. With additional training in reading and special education, she developed strategies to identify reading deficiencies, assess reading levels, and tailor interventions to specific needs.

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