Giving Compass’ Take:
• Dr. Doug Fisher explains why literacy tools are the key to addressing poverty and that with them, students have more agency to go farther academically and professionally.
• How can technology help increase literacy in countries with lower rates?
• Read the Giving Compass Guide on fostering literacy.
Reading was easy for Dr. Doug Fisher when he was growing up in San Diego, but it wasn’t for everybody. “I had friends who were illiterate,” he says. “They just pretended they could read, and the teachers pretended, and they graduated.” As a freshman at San Diego State University, Fisher wrote his first English comp paper on illiteracy in America. “Somehow, that seed was there for a really long time.”
Fast forward: after teaching public health and earning a doctorate in education, Fisher co-founded San Diego’s Health Sciences High and Middle College (HSHMC). The school gives students meaningful vocational experiences—shadowing and working with healthcare professionals or even firefighting professions—while earning a high school degree, community college credentials or vocational certificates. Yet no matter how hands-on the program, literacy remains fundamental. “Literacy can change your life,” Fisher says. “It is one of our best antidotes to poverty.”
Fisher is now a professor of education leadership at San Diego State and a teacher leader at HSHMC. EdSurge talked with him about how he and his colleagues use online differentiated literacy instruction tools from Achieve3000, and how that platform has helped the school’s students—80 percent of whom are eligible for free lunch—achieve a stunning 98.5 percent graduation rate.
Read the rest of the interview about using literacy as a tool for success by Kelli Anderson at EdSurge.
Interested in learning more about North America? Other readers at Giving Compass found the following articles helpful for impact giving related to North America.
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