Success Academy Charter Schools in New York City have had an impressive track record of helping students achieve impressive results on statewide reading tests. Their website boasts that this year 84% of their students (their “scholars”) passed the mandatory English Language Arts (ELA) tests and 95% passed the math tests, making them the #1 school system in New York State for student achievement.

Now parents and teachers everywhere can learn the Success Academy approach to teaching reading from Kindergarten to the 4th grade, through the Success Academy Education Institute, an online guide to their literacy curriculum. To find it, just go to, click on “ED INSTITUTE” at the top of the page, register (with an email address and password) and you’re in!
While the curriculum guide is actually designed and written for teachers, parents can get lots of helpful tips to encourage reading skills.

Click on a separate literacy curriculum for each grade and scroll through the lesson plans to see details of how children are taught to love reading. A reading list for each grade is also included in the plan. There are lots of good ideas that parents can use when reading with their kids at home. For example, check out the “Top 5 Key Reading Tactics” for readers (and those helping them with reading) which are introduced in the Kindergarten curriculum and developed and explored in grades 1-4:

1. Great readers always make mind movies.

2. Great readers always notice vocabulary words whose meaning they don’t know.

3. Great readers always read the title and think about the title as they read.

4. Great readers always look for the big idea and evidence to support it.

5. Great readers always notice interesting language and structures that support the big idea.

What a helpful approach to thinking and talking about reading with your little ones!

Take some time to explore Success Academy’s Education Institute. Then figure out how to incorporate some of the valuable information you’ll find there into your reading time with your children. Your soon to be great readers will be glad you did!