DC schools launch initiative to improve literacy, discuss preparations for 1st day of school

D.C. schools Chancellor Lewis Ferebee spent the morning with first-graders and parents at C.W. Harris Elementary School on Wednesday, where he announced a new initiative to improve literacy.

It’s called the DCPS Readers Next Door project, and it’s federally funded.

“The series, which will include more than 100 individual books featuring 10 characters living and going to school in the District, was created based on the science of reading and under the expert guidance of Dr. Julia Lindsey, author of “Reading Above the Fray: Reliable Research-Based Routines for Developing Decoding Skills,’” DCPS said.

“You will see in one of our books that we have a feature on Ben’s Chili Bowl,” Ferebee said.
School starts Monday.

Ferebee noted that the school system has been affected by the teacher shortage, as seen in other parts of the country.

“We currently have a vacancy count about 150,” he said.
There have been questions about the readiness of schools, especially the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. Ferebee seemed confident that they are up to par.

“Everything appears to be operational and functional,” he said.

He also said DCPS is ready to welcome migrant children who arrived on buses from Texas and Arizona.

“We have about 40 students that are school-aged,” he said.


Anna-Lysa Gayle

Anna-Lysa Gayle is an award-winning reporter and anchor, with five Emmy awards and more. Before joining WTOP, she spent nearly a decade as a TV news reporter for ABC and CBS news affiliates.

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