Though many Fun in the Sun students at Franklin elementary have made substantial progress in their English literacy skills since the start of the program, literacy program leader Gayle Leyva commends one student in particular. Walner Fabian has made a tremendous leap.
According to Ms. Leyva, Walner entered the local school community several years ago as an English language learner. At the beginning, she says, “He was pretty much all-Spanish.” Now, as a rising third-grader, Walner speaks English confidently, but his reading and writing skills have continued to lag: at the beginning of the program, his assessments reflected a kindergarten skill level.
However, after explaining all of this, Ms. Leyva opens her laptop and pulls up the most recent class data from Lexia, the online literacy teaching tool used by Fun in the Sun. She points out Walner’s data, and I see that he’s risen from a kindergarten skill level to that of a beginning second grader - all in just six weeks. Impressive, to say the least.
Walner’s behavior has improved dramatically as well. “During the regular school year, he was in trouble every day, and I mean every single day.” Ms. Leyva reports. Over the course of the program, that frequency has fallen dramatically. Walner still gets into mischief every now and then, of course - what kids don’t? - but his progress at Fun in the Sun, both behaviorally and academically, has proven remarkable nonetheless. Keep on climbing, Walner!