The Louisiana Department of Education (LDE) created the Ensuring Literacy for All Initiative, a reading enhancement program for prekindergarten through fourth grade, and published it in September 2009. In the 2008-09 school year, the LDE began the program in 19 school districts and in 43 schools.
The Ensuring Literacy for All Initiative aligns with the Louisiana Literacy Plan for kindergarten through twelfth grade and the Reading First (RF) instructional model for kindergarten through 3rd grade both currently utilized in Louisiana. The Ensuring Literacy for All Initiative contains the major components of RF and the Literacy Plan, including:
- Explicit and systematic literacy instruction currently used in Louisiana;
- School-wide implementation with substantial support from the district;
- Frequent assessment of student performance and progress for early identification of struggling students;
- Intensive interventions targeted at student weaknesses;
- Extensive professional development and support for teachers, reinforced and revisited in job-embedded sessions facilitated by school-based literacy coaches; and
- Effective leadership teams in schools and districts.
These components are intended to yield a school-wide system with a three-tiered instructional model, based on scientific reading research that employs ongoing assessments and extended time for reading instruction by high-quality teachers.
The Louisiana Department of Education has contracted with the Picard Center to evaluate the implementation and instructional practices of the ELFA program.