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JGHS, Ministry & LIFE Ltd.  (Left to Right) Special Education Needs Coordinator, Mr. Elliot Smith; Minister for Education Hon. Tara Rivers; Executive Member of LIFE Ltd., Mrs. Su Mander; and Chair Person of LIFE Ltd., Mr. Woody Foster come together in partnership to provide JGHS with the Levelled Literacy Intervention Program.

We are delighted to partner with LIFE and grateful for the hard work of the two teaching assistants running the program.

Lyneth Monteith, Principal, JGHS

Published 1st December 2014, 3:3pm

In September of 2014, LIFE Ltd (‘LIFE’), in partnership with the Department of Education Services (DES), John Gray High School (JGHS), and the Ministry of Education, launched a reading intervention program to support struggling readers in year 7.  LIFE (Literacy is for Everyone) is an independent charitable organisation dedicated to addressing literacy issues in the Cayman Islands.

The program being used by JGHS is called Levelled Literacy Intervention (LLI) and is being spearheaded by the school’s Special Education Needs Coordinator, Mr. Elliot Smith, and is supported by the school’s principal, Ms. Lyneth Monteith. “We are delighted to partner with LIFE and grateful for the hard work of the two teaching assistants running the program. The literacy initiative bodes well for literacy at JGHS,” said Ms. Monteith. She also thanked Ms. Katherine Briggs of Harbour House Marina who has also supported JGHS’s LLI program by generously shipping the LLI kits free of charge.

LIFE, DES, JGHS, and the Ministry of Education share a vision of transforming the lives of students through effective, progressive, and measurable forms of literacy instruction. As one aspect of well-coordinated literacy programming, made stronger by the support of LIFE, LLI will play an important role in achieving this shared goal at JGHS.  “LIFE received a lot of positive feedback about LLI from primary school teachers last year,” said Woody Foster, Chairman of LIFE, “so we are very pleased to be able to bring LLI to John Gray High School this year.”

LLI has been selected as an effective program for schools because it is a supplementary small group intervention program that encapsulates three keys to successful literacy instruction: (1) expert teaching; (2) quality levelled books; and (3) good instructional design. The program runs during the regular school day with the help of JGHS’s teaching assistants. The program has been successfully underway since September 2014. Students have already shown improvement and have responded well to the intervention. In an effort to measure the program’s success, LIFE volunteers are using a Diagnostic Online Reading Assessment (DORA) to anonymously measure progress in student achievement.

In addition to running the LLI program, LIFE has a history of partnerships with government schools, DES, and the Ministry and has contributed to higher levels of student achievement in literacy by organising groups of volunteers to support children in primary schools, purchasing literacy resources for government school use, partially funding the purchase of Levelled Literacy Intervention kits for government school use, and funding pilot projects as well as funding the Partners in Print program across the system.

            Minister for Education Hon. Tara Rivers expressed her gratitude to LIFE saying, “LIFE Ltd.’s commitment, along with their eagerness to collaborate with the Ministry of Education on joint literacy initiatives such as LLI, has produced a partnership with the Cayman Islands Government that benefits young Caymanian students and helps us to ensure that we provide the best education possible in our schools.”

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