Learning to Read on Zoom
Amid COVID-19 pandemic, already vulnerable young students in Washington, D.C. are falling behind in basic literacy skills
(EWA Radio: Episode 256)
How do you capture both the experience of a young student learning to read remotely, and the challenges for their teacher on the other side of the screen? Education reporter Perry Stein masterfully weaves it together — both the compelling story of one family and a teacher, plus the bigger picture of teaching and learning in the pandemic — in a new article for The Washington Post. Her article focuses on a class of second graders that has fallen behind in its reading skills, after their bricks-and-mortar charter school closed. Among the vivid details she gleaned: Kathy Lloyd searches the city for free books to build up her daughter, Zalaunshae’s home library. Stein discusses the challenges to this kind of nuanced story, including conducting observations and interviews both online and in person. Why is this age group particularly vulnerable? How are teachers and families are trying to minimize learning loss? And what are story ideas for education reporters covering literacy, curriculum and instruction, especially for younger students?