Promoting Literacy at The SEED School

by The SEED School of Washington, D.C.

Yesterday, Britt Lake and I visited the SEED school here in Washington DC. The campus is amazing and their success is inspiring. Robin Baker and Margaret Ward hosted us and showed us around. We talked about ways that Robin and Margaret can use the GlobalGiving platform more effectively, and Britt and I got a tour of the library that GlobalGiving donors are helping to equip.

The school has an incredibly innovative residential model - kids from some of the rougher areas of DC, under-served by conventional public schools, reside at the SEED school during the week - returning to their families on the weekends. Starting in 6th grade, students are prepped for college and success rates are very high - 97% of students are accepted to college. As a public charter school, SEED can't choose its students, so there is a lottery to pick among the many applicants (see video). Being picked for the SEED school really is like winning a lottery - as a student now has a 97% chance of getting into college.

When asked what he would tell his friends about this project, John said: "Incredible: You need to see this!"


With the support of individuals who give to The SEED School through GlobalGiving, SEED has expanded its library collection and literacy program to better support the needs of its younger, struggling readers, many of whom enter SEED two to three years behind grade level in reading. Over the last two years, SEED has implemented literacy initiative in which students learn at their own level and pace. Students only read books at their own level in order to develop literacy skills and progress. To support this program, SEED's library has expanded its collection of leveled books that are age- and interest-appropriate for middle and high school students but are at lower skill levels. This literacy effort began with expanding the School's collection of books for independent reading, a key to achieving literacy skills growh. After seeing significant improvements over the last two years, SEED is expanding its leveled reading strategies across all content areas to ensure that students do not miss learning content in science, social studies and math due to their current literacy level. To support a school-wide program, SEED is focusing this year on further increasing its collection of leveled books, particularly non-fiction, that support content curriculum, as well as providing professional development so that all teachers - math, science, social studies, and English - are consistent in their literacy instruction and support.


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Organization Information

The SEED School of Washington, D.C.

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website: http:/​/​​
Project Leader:
Robin Baker
Development Manager
Washington, DC United States

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