Politz Launches Literacy Lessons for Little Ones

Thanks to an influx of grant money and brand-new school supplies, this year's students at Politz Hebrew Academy of Philadelphia will enjoy improved classes and programming – something principal Besie Katz says is taking "what's already a diamond and just" polishing it.

Classes begin at Politz on Wednesday, Sept. 7.

In addition to new science textbooks for the middle school and a more detailed weekly current-events workshop for eighth-graders, the school's nursery school will roll out a new literacy program for its youngest learners.

Funded by the Tuttleman Foundation, the literacy initiative will introduce Politz's preschoolers to phonemic awareness – a pre-reading skill necessary to start putting letters and sounds together into words – using puppets, books and illustrations. The program also has a writing component.

According to Katz, the two teachers in the preschool class will teach the 21 nursery-school students about what it means to be an author, as well as the difference between fiction and non-fiction. Most of all, added the principal, the curriculum will encourage self-expression and a love of reading.

"We want to teach the children that if they write or illustrate sentences, no matter how elementary, they, too, can be authors," explained Katz. "They will learn about authors, but also gain an appreciation for their own imagination and creativity."



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