During the Board of Education meeting on May 17th, Shainie Elliott, Quality Assurance Specialist for Literacy, and Luann Emmes, Kindergarten teacher, along with students Alex B., Adelyn K., Gavin M., Lake M., Willow M., and Rory S. shared with the board how they are developing and practicing their phonemic awareness skills every day in their classrooms. Phonemic awareness is oral and auditory and is intended to help students gain understanding of how words are comprised of individual sounds. The District adopted Heggerty Phonemic Awareness, a research-based curriculum of daily awareness lessons, two years ago at Sunrise at the 4K and 5K levels. The lessons are short and accompanied by hand motions to make it fun for students; having them first start with repeating words that rhyme and recognizing what they have in common, and then moving to recognize the sound of the first letter of the word, the sound of blended letters and the sound of the letters in the middle of the word. Since implementing the program, the District has seen a positive impact in students' literacy skills.