San Miguel School i.t.a. Program
Helping children read!
San Miguel School, on the south side of Chicago, annually provides over 850 low-income youth with the resources to excel academically, socially and spiritually through three core programs:
(1) San Miguel Middle School, an intensive educational program focusing on academic and social/emotional skills that include an extended day schedule, year-round calendar, and individualized instruction in addition to a 10:1 student teacher ratio all coupled with strong parental involvement;
(2) The Graduate Support program, which serves approximately 120 high school students with alumni events, leadership opportunities, and college readiness services;
(3) The Family Support program, which provides educational opportunities for parents/adults, clinical counseling for students/families and collaboration and community development with other neighborhood organizations. Each year, approximately 650 individual family members are served including some members from the community at-large.
San Miguel School is located in the Back of the Yards neighborhood which has a high rate of poverty and gang violence. 100% of the students currently enrolled in the school are Latino. This school year 100% of the students qualify for the government’s free and/or reduced lunch program.
Typically, students enter San Miguel School performing several grades below their actual grade level. Additionally, 83% of the students in 2015 (74 of 89 students) started with limited English proficiency.
The i.t.a. Program: San Miguel School
The i.t.a. program provides a critical tool for individualized and targeted help for struggling readers. The i.t.a. program serves students with one-on-one intervention, using the reading and writing protocols that have been validated by the i.t.a. Foundation’s research.
In addition, all of the school’s students will receive vocabulary enhancement using spelling by sound (writing new words in i.t.a.), followed by electronic dictionary work to determine the correct spelling and meaning of the target words.
Teachers at all three grade levels have found this vocabulary strategy to be especially helpful in extending the receptive language of their students, all of whom are Latino and speak Spanish as their first language.
The Initial Teaching Alphabet Foundation
The Initial Teaching Alphabet Foundation is a corporation organized under the Membership Corporation Law of the State of New York in March, 1965. The Foundation was formed exclusively for educational and charitable purposes; to promote, maintain and advance education in all its fields, and in particular (but without limiting the generality of the foregoing) by development, standardization, propagation, dissemination, teaching and use of the Initial Teaching Alphabet.
i.t.a. Foundation Mission Statement
The mission of the i.t.a. Foundation is to promote literacy by providing independent funding for the development and dissemination of best teaching practices in the use and support of the initial teaching alphabet (i.t.a.).