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Carlisle School plans new comprehensive writing program with Harvest grant

LEFT TO RIGHT: Neal Myer, director of lower school at Carlisle, Beth Gammons, director of middle school, Gracie Agnew, head of school, Harvest Foundation Senior Program Officer DeWitt House, and Lindsay Favero, director of upper school

MARTINSVILLE – Officials at Carlisle School look to improve written communication skills and achieve higher SAT scores with a grant from The Harvest Foundation.

A three-year grant of $177,390 will help Carlisle launch a comprehensive writing program that encompasses students from kindergarten to 12th grade.

“This program is a creative approach to addressing a growing concern in education circles – the ability of students to write cohesively,” said DeWitt House, senior program officer at The Harvest Foundation. “Whether a student decides to attend college or join the workforce, the ability to communicate effectively through the written word is critical to their future success. Expressing an idea clearly and concisely is a skill not only needed but expected from each and every teacher, professor and employer. We want all students from Martinsville and Henry County to be fully prepared to take on the rigors of higher education and the workforce.”

House added that Carlisle’s new writing program aligns with Harvest Foundation’s workforce goal of supporting early childhood academic success.

Increased practice, feedback across the curriculum, and the study of excellent writing will form the basis of Carlisle’s new writing program. Students will have opportunities to demonstrate their writing capabilities through many instructional activities and real-world application.

Goals for this program include 75 percent of students reaching their projected growth scores as outlined in MAP (Measures of Academic Progress), and for eighth through 12th graders to improve their scores on the writing and language section of the SAT.

“We are Carlisle School are very appreciative of The Harvest Foundation’s support for K-12 education,” said Gracie Agnew, Carlisle’s head of school. “The foundation has long recognized the importance of literacy and the role it plays in improving the lives of everyone in society. The awarding of this generous grant is indicative of their continued commitment, and we are excited about the opportunity we have been afforded to implement our writing initiative. Through this initiative, students will learn effective skills for personal, professional, academic and technical writing.”

Instructors will use the MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) language test and the SAT Assessment Suite to pinpoint areas of weakness in students’ writing ability. Each student will have an education plan that follows them throughout their school career, and staff will have access to professional development to bolster the program’s success. Carlisle staff and faculty will work closely together to implement the new writing program.

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